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OK, well, we got a good one today. This is a really interesting one today joining us. Well, one person in person and one person via Skype. First time ever, my great friend, the powerful Graham Hancock is joining us via Skype from England. And he wrote the foreword for this man, Brian Morea rescues book, which is absolutely fantastic.
This was an amazing conversation. The book is called The Immortality Key The Secret History of the Religion with No Name.
And it is all about the use of psychedelics in ancient civilizations and with new information that Brian has been working on for over the past 12 years to create this book. And he's a legit scholar. I mean, this is in fact, he has never even had personal psychedelic experiences. This is all just based on on history and on research. And it was just an absolutely amazing conversation that I enjoyed every second of.
So please welcome Graham Hancock and Brian Mirah rescue government podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, trained by Joe Rogan podcast by night all day.
Joining us via Skype is the great and powerful Graham Hancock, my friend. How are you, sir?
Hi, Joe. It's really good to be back with you. I wish I could be there in person. Feels very strange to be on this this technology, but these are the times we live in.
Yeah, well, I'm just happy we could talk at all in this day and age too. It's the little things like little victories. And Brian, I'm going to try it. I'm going to try it. More rescue.
You nailed it, bro. Thank you. And your but this is the first time we've ever done one of these as well in the studio where one maybe ever visual. We've never done what we did.
One with you guys. Remember, we did Randall Carlson.
And my mock defense came in by telephone, I guess, which is very strange sound coming from nowhere. At least I could see you. But we've never done one of these like this. But this book tell me this is the immortality key, the secret of the secret history of religion, of the religion with no name.
I'll say it again, the secret history of the religion with no name. Now, this is obviously when I found the subject matter. Grammas is right up your alley. And yeah, it made total, complete sense why you and Brian worked together on this. So who wants to start and explain why? Grandma, why don't we have you start since you're you know, you're over there in the UK?
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, for me, in fact, Joe, I think you and I originally got in touch because of my interest in psychedelics, in human culture and a book that I published in 2006 called Supernatural. Yes. Which which looks at the huge role that psychedelics have played in cultures and in religions all around the world. And I touched in that book on the role of psychedelics in the origins of Christianity, which, of course, is a dynamite subject.
And what Brian has done in the immortality key has been to present hard and fast evidence that the first Christians were using psychedelics and that their religious experiences were mediated by psychedelic experiences.
And Brian, how did you get involved in this? It's a long story. You look like a stoner, by the way.
I must tell you right now, I was done a few mushrooms in his day. Oddly enough, I don't do drugs and I've I've never done psychedelics.
Wow. Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah. We want to start today.
Well, I wish we were in L.A. I could hook you up in Texas. So the laws are sketchier here.
What what led you to this then?
I was fascinated by Graham's work, which I only came across about twelve years ago. I was a Latin, Greek and Sanskrit undergrad major. And instead of getting the PhD or becoming a priest, which the two options when he studied Latin and Greek, I went to law school instead for no reason whatsoever, and then wound up at a law firm. And a couple of years into it, I started reading about these psilocybin studies coming out of Hopkins and NYU and that amazing statistic that two thirds of the participants were describing it as one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.
And it hit me that there was something there because the testimony coming out of Hopkins and. NYU, in a very clinical setting, immediately reminded me of what I heard about elucidates, and for those who don't know what this is, it's essentially the spiritual capital of the ancient world. It was where the best and brightest of Athens and Rome went to essentially meet a goddess in the flesh and have this mind blowing visionary experience. So before Jerusalem, before Rome, before Mecca, there was a loses.
And for some reason, we're not taught about this in our high school mythology or or Western civ classes. But it was there that Plato, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius all went to drink a magic potion and in their words, have this vision, what Plato calls a blessed sight and vision, the holiest of mysteries in which they claim to have a direct encounter with the goddess and completely eradicate their fear of death. It was very similar to what the volunteers are saying with their single experience of psilocybin.
Now with elucidates, how much history do we have, how much recorded history that documents these rituals? And is there any that describes the actual contents of this mixture?
No, there isn't much. I mean, aloose, I say A is like the fight club of the ancient world. The first rule about elucidates is you don't talk about elucidates. You know, all we have is this fragmentary testimony, again, from from Plato, Pinda, Sophocles and others. They do talk about a vision that's almost universal and they almost universally talk about this once in a lifetime, transformative events where they become initiates and only they properly have life after death, because at the time, the Greeks didn't really look forward to the afterlife.
In fact, there was no afterlife. You just disappear into Hades to do God knows what. But people walk away from elucidates saying that they'd found salvation and we don't know why or how we know this potion is involved. We know they make this pilgrimage 13 miles from Athens to allow us to drink this potion. We know they they prepare for months, if not years before it, and they're forever changed afterwards.
But we have very little hard data to actually look into it. And so in 1978, this this trio of renegades, Gordon Watson, Albert Hoffman, who discovered LSD, and Carl Ruck, who was then the chair of the Classics Department at Boston University, they put out this book, The Road to Elucidates, claiming they'd found the secret after 2000 years. And what they claimed is that this potion was actually spiked with ergot, which is that naturally occurring fungus from which you can synthesize LSD.
And in fact, it's where Albert that's how he synthesized LSD by accident in 1938 with cultures of ergot.
We've talked about ergot before in this podcast connecting it to the Salem witch trials, which is very speculative. But they think there's real evidence that shows that there was a late frost during the time of the Salem witch trials that probably led to mold growth on their wheat, which probably led to ergot infestation of their food. And so these poor people were, you know, unintentionally eating acid and it happened a lot.
There were ergot outbreaks across time, especially in the Middle Ages. They would call it St. Anthony's fire, the Ignace Sokka, because it's so, so common. In fact, if you talk to any brewer today, at least of the brewers that I was talking to, I went to see this beer scientist in Munich, Germany, Martyn's Aamco, and he says you can't avoid it. Now, it's more common on things like rye, but it also pops up on barley and wheat, too.
And again, it's unavoidable and it's highly, highly toxic. The question is, does it really produce the kind of vision, the visionary experiences that people have on psilocybin, LSD, mescaline and others, according to Albert Hofmann? Absolutely. So as a matter of fact, I went into the Harvard archives where Watson's papers are kept to this day in the botany libraries. And I found a letter that Albert wrote Gordon, his co-author in 1976, saying that Albert had self experimented with with Ergon Ivin, which is one of these alkaloids and Aagot, and he claimed in 1976 it was five to 10 times more potent than psilocybin.
Well, it's fascinating to me that these cultures seem to have hid some of these rituals. And this goes back to really as far back as we have recorded psychedelic use like Soma. We still to this day don't know what that is. And it's described in these incredible ways in ancient Hindu texts, but we don't know what it is.
We have an idea actually brought some some Sanskrit to show you. Yeah. You want to see some Sanskrit? Oh, yeah. Can you put it up on the screen? It's under the Soma tab. Oh, look at how beautiful that is. There it is. Their language writing it in Sanskrit. God, it's so pretty. Do you. I'm going to read it for you, please. You can read that. Yeah.
So this was my major in college. So at the very middle there you can see Imam Indras, Gavaskar, Sheere Yamashiro chatting up Picture A, Cathia, Vasiliki, ESMO. And what he's saying there is this is from the Rigveda. Right. And it's the oldest literature in Western civilization. We think it's among the Indo-European.
Languages, it's the oldest recorded literature that we have. It could be 1500 B.C., seven hundred, perhaps much earlier, like the Iliad and The Odyssey and Greek, this is the mother tongue of all the Indo-European languages. And what they write about a lot is Soma, which is both a God and the juice that is pressed from this God. And what they're talking about there is is making this ritual potion very much like the cookie on that we find among the ancient Greeks.
And here Soma is described as a mixed potion. Yashida means mixed with barley. Go Bashira from Sanskrit go gava is milk mixed with milk. And so I've read all the theories that you have about what Soma was, whether it was the Amanita Muscaria mushroom or some psilocybin containing species or D.A. The way they described Silma here is always a mixed potion, which so in this case mixed with barley and milk.
So that would be an erga some sort of already there mentioned.
I mean, and so that's that's what Rock Hofman and Wasem were saying in 1978. We have we have literature from the 7th century BC, it's called to him to Dimitar, where they record these ingredients of what the cooking was. You asked like, where's the actual evidence? So in the 70s, we didn't have much. It starts with the literature, which is what classicists do. And so there's this him to Dimitar that was discovered in 1777, a year after we declare our independence from grammes people and what they what they found in there.
And Sodergren, we're in Texas.
Man, absolutely. Well done. I'm all for independence.
So I'd like I'd like to be independent of my own country, if possible as well.
Well, Texas has taken refugees at the moment, is it not? Well, that's what's happening here. That's why we're here. We're we're refugees from the country of California. Exactly. The nation state of California.
So why do we know why they combined it with milk?
It was it just so that it was easier to consume that.
That's what we don't know. We don't know why the cooking was. It was this mixed thing either.
But so in him to Dimitar, the record, these ingredients, it's Alphie, which is Barley Hudler, which is water and Blackhorn, which means mint. And that's all we had. So it doesn't say milk. You didn't say milk. That was in Soma and so. Yeah. Oh I'm sorry.
Which they mix with all kinds of things and not and not just barley and milk, but also honey. As a matter of fact, Soma is often identified with Madu, which is honey in Sanskrit.
MacKenna speculated that there was a there was a transfer in culture of psychodelic based culture to an alcohol based culture based on climate change and also based on preserving things. And honey and that, honey, would create Mead and Mead, which if people don't know, is an alcohol beverage that's actually made with honey.
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Is do you think that this was the case with the use of honey as well that is used as a preservative, or was it used to to make it taste better or more palatable? We don't know.
We don't know that that's the problem when we're talking about ancient plants and fungi plants especially, we don't know what plants they're talking about. So the ancient literature records all kinds of plants across the world.
But if I could if I could jump in, Joe, you're you're absolutely right. There was secrecy that surrounded the use of these potions in the ancient world. There's a case from from Athens of the potion from Eleusis being used for recreational purposes. And this is roundly condemned by all concerned that it should only be used for the for the sacred and spiritual purposes of which it was intended. So there was a great deal of secrecy that surrounded the use of these potions.
And the potions were a doorway or a gateway into another level of reality. And what's fascinating from Eleusis and many other ancient accounts is the way that people come back, having lost their fear of death, that they don't regard death as the end anymore. It's just another stage on the journey, just the beginning of the next great adventure. And it's Brian is absolutely right to draw attention to the to the modern work with psilocybin. And again, we find people who are terminal cases who are imminently facing death, losing their fear of death as a result of of using psilocybin.
So we can begin to see connections between what we understand about these extraordinary substances in the modern world and how the ancient world used them.
That does seem to be a universal theme, this this theme of alleviating the fear of death. And this this this comes up constantly with people that I know personally that have had it had these psychedelic experiences. They say, well, I feel like I went to heaven. I feel like now I understand why people believe there's this perfect afterlife that I've seen a lot of it, a lot of the critics will say.
That is some kind of natural human tendency that we don't want to die and that we are afraid of death and that and that religions provide us with some sort of solace, some some sort of feeling of security. But I don't think that washes at all. I think it's I think what's striking about the psychedelics is it's a direct experience that the person has. They have an experience is not a teaching. It's not something that they're told about. It's not a scripture that they read.
It's an experience that they have. And that experience eliminates the fear of death. I think, Brian, by the way, having written the immortality cave in, which I've only provided the forward, I think Brian is absolutely right to be a psychedelic virgin in my case, because I have used psychedelics and many other substances. A lot of my critics just try to write off all my work, whether it's on lost civilizations or on psychedelics. They tried to write it all off as the rantings of a sort of drug fueled maniac.
And I think it's very smart of Brian, very smart of Brian not to put himself in that situation. I hope he will work with psychedelics in the future. But I think he was right not to work with psychedelics before writing this book and to concentrate on the evidence.
Well, Michael Pollan, who later in life experienced psychedelics and wrote pretty brilliantly about them for me, that he's one of the more interesting people to discuss it, because Michael's an investigative journalist. He he takes deep dives into these subjects and his deep dive into psychedelics was incredibly illuminating. And so for him, I've really enjoyed talking to him about it and I really enjoyed his book as well.
His his perceptions of it were really unique because you're talking about a guy who lived his whole life without them, you know, and then really dove head first for his book and kind of what happened kind of what happened to me when I when I wrote Supernatural, I had I had apart from one experience with LSD in 1974, I hadn't used any psychedelics until I began to research Supernatural back in the early 2000s. And because I'm a kind of boots on the ground researcher, I felt it was essential that I have these experiences.
What I couldn't guess was the way that the experiences would utterly change and transform my life. And I, I can understand from a level of personal experience why psychedelics do lie at the root. I think of all the world's religions and those religions are now busily at work trying to deny that connection.
Well, they're not just trying to do it. There's many people in science that are trying to deny these connections to. And it's it's so unfortunate that the people that are trying to deny these connections or the significance of these experiences haven't had them. I don't think anybody who has a dimethyltryptamine experience can just dismiss it as being no big deal. It's it's too crazy. And you need to do it, sir.
This guy just the fact that it's it's one of those things where everyone who does it comes out of it saying, I can't believe that's real. Yeah. I can't I can't believe you could just get there that quickly that three puffs and all of a sudden you're in Narnia. I just I guess we're not way more intense than Narnia. What?
It's just Narnia. And you're in a place where entities are actually communicating with you and speaking to you and teaching to you. I mean, this is another aspect of psychedelics is the moral aspect of psychedelics. Critics and enemies of psychedelics want to associate them with some kind of immorality. But actually, anybody who's worked extensively with psychedelics will know that they contain moral teachings, whether it's the mushrooms or whether it's LSD. They cause us to examine our own behavior, our own impact upon others, to question our unkindness to others and to give us at least the push to to begin to be better people and more nurturing and more caring people for others.
So there's strong moral element in psychedelics, again, is totally ignored by by by the critics who just want to demonize these substances for reasons that I think are rather sinister.
Actually, I think our current culture lapse and lacks a map of the territory. And if we had like some sort of legitimate psychedelic counseling where we could go somewhere and experts both in pharmacology and in medical science can talk people through these experiences and help them achieve them and get people to realize that, you know, much like the ancients, these experiences are not it's not wise to use them recreationally.
I mean, you know, you maybe you can if you want.
I mean, many people have and then inadvertently benefited from them greatly. But I think they're they're very profound. And I think they should be treated like almost like you've got a Willy Wonka golden ticket to go meet God, because that's what it seems.
Like it's it seems like has happened what should be should be treated with respect and should be treated with respect and with and with reverence, because because of this sense that we're passing through a doorway into a seamlessly convincing parallel reality, the possibility that that isn't just a concoction of our brains, that the brains are simply acting as a as an interface or a transceiver between us on that other level of reality. And again, you can see the connection with psychedelics and and religion here.
My view is, and I've said this before on your show, Joe, if I were running the world, anybody who wanted to be a president, a prime minister, a head of state of any kind, I think it should be obligatory that they have at least a dozen sessions with a powerful psychedelic. It can be DMT, it can be ayahuasca, it can be LSD. But they got to go through those dozen sessions. They should be guided by experienced practitioners.
And at the end of those dozen sessions, I very much doubt if those individuals would be the same individuals who went into the application for the job in the first place.
I don't think you could be the same when when you write about all this. How curious are you personally of the experience and do you plan on having it?
I do. Under the conditions that you set. I mean, I think that we're in a period now where everything is about to change. The clinical research is advancing. Rick Doblin is moving to phase three. You have researchers at Hopkins, NYU, now UCLA, looking at psilocybin for a host of different conditions from depression, anxiety, end of life to stress, which is really fascinating. And I think that sometime over the next five years, the FDA is going to get involved and these will become available at least for specified conditions.
And what I look forward to is maybe in 10 years time or less, these retreat centers which are licensed and regulated with, you know, professional staff and medical supervised staff who essentially guide people through what would be a novel initiation experience, not not unlike what may have happened 2700 years ago.
I'm hoping they're going to be back doored in as therapy for people with pre-existing conditions that we have right now, like opioid addiction, iboga like ibogaine being introduced and MDMA for people with post-traumatic stress disorder for soldiers, because there's been so much real solid evidence that it's incredibly beneficial to these people, particularly the opioid crisis. I mean, we have a real problem in this country with people being addicted to these pills and then wind up dying from them. That can be nipped in the bud, like really effectively with ibogaine and the fact that you have to leave the country to have these ibogaine experiences is really it's it's a terrible statement on the the rational thinking of our culture today, because it's not like these are unknown things.
We're talking about it right now in a podcast that millions of people are listening to. And we've talked about it dozens of times in the past. And it's something that scientists are aware of, researchers are aware of, and particularly people who have come back from there and have had these experiences and have been cured of their addictions. They literally rewires the way the brain interfaces with these opioids and the fact that it's not available to people and they have to go through traditional counseling and just and benefit from their willpower and somehow or another try not to to relapse.
It's it's terrible or even just mitigating some of that. I'm using cannabis, for example, which can be which which can mitigate some of those addictive potentials. Yes, I worked I worked with athletes, for example, which might interest you. So I represented a guy named Mike James who was an NFL player who we believe is the first professional athlete in the U.S. to seek a therapeutic use exemption from the NFL to get off his opioids and use cannabis instead.
And we were there at 51 and Park Avenue at NFL headquarters, arbitrating with the NFL to try and get him a cannabis supply. And he lost and he was fined six figures in the process and he left the league because of it.
It's he's not the first one, right? Wasn't there was. Who's the other? Jamir, you're a football fan. Who's the other famous football player? Couldn't take the weed. Ricky Williams. That's right. Ricky Williams.
He never said it to you either. It was unthinkable to get it to you at the time.
But it's amazing that the NFL would have a problem with marijuana when so many of those guys are on pills. I mean, some of those guys are so severely injured. I mean, it is one of the most brutal, if not the most brutal sport in the world.
And the fact that these guys can't seek marijuana for relief when they allow them to take opioids, it's just bananas. Just it doesn't make any sense.
Yeah, because we live in an insane society which has got all its priorities upside down and is completely screwing up this beautiful world that human beings have been gifted by the by by the universe. And I think it boils down to relatively few, relatively few people. We just have incredibly bad governments, lousy leaders. Irresponsible, lacking any initiative or imagination in it entirely for themselves. It's a it's a messed up world and it's a kind of litmus test for how messed up that world is, that sovereign adults cannot take the responsible decision to use psychedelics without risking jail, that it's as simple as a very, very insane that that should be the case.
And yet alcohol is glorified in our society. As you say, the opioids are prescribed hand over fist by by Big Pharma. We're very mixed up. And I have a feeling that the sooner we get our politicians onto major psychedelics, the better things are going to be.
Well, I think we've got to get the whole world involved as well.
We don't want to be the only ones that are trippin about the problem. The Chinese and the Russians are not tripping and we are like, everything's going to be fine, man. Yeah.
And also the other the other point to make, again, the critics tried to try to trivialize this, but actually working with psychedelics is it can be really hard work. It can be really grueling. It can be really demanding. It can put you through the psychological wringer as you confront your own dark side and learn how to deal with it. Yes, there is there is a recreational role for these substances. And I honor the right of sovereign adults to use them for recreational purposes if they wish to do so.
But it's the deep work that these psychedelics require us to do, which is which is really fascinating and which is not easy. It's very, very, very difficult. I personally find it difficult. I don't rush to my next psychedelic adventure. I prepared myself very, very carefully and with some experience. So. And those is what the real or not experiences a do does does, yeah, you're breaking up a little bit there, but yeah, I completely agree with you about that.
I mean, I, I get terrified when I take an edible marijuana edibles, the introspective nature of those things and the way it breaks down your thoughts and your behavior and finds the skeletons in your closet.
But you're in there for six hours searching around with a flashlight. I tell people, though, but that's one of the things that I like about it. I learn things. I know it's scary. I know I feel terrified while it's happening. But when I come out of it on the other end, I genuinely feel like I'm a better person. Like I've gone. I've at that moment, I will I will be nicer to you. I'm better I'm better at being me.
You know, it's very effective. It really works. There's something to it.
And it's it's it's available. It's not something that you have to, you know, go to counseling for years and years.
And it's no right.
There you get it real quick. This was the whole point of the mysteries.
But know in the ancient world, I mean, so there was a whole apparatus dedicated to curating these experiences for people.
And sometimes it was once in a lifetime, like out of Lucy's at some later point in your life. And then you have the Dionysian mysteries, which are a bit weirder and a bit crazier. But they were also curated by professionals, by technicians, women in this case who were thought to be spiking wine with all kinds of magical plants, herbs and fungi.
But the mysteries existed to create this experience of death and rebirth. And there's supposed to be terrifying. You were supposed to enter the underworld to meet the goddess. It doesn't happen in the daylight and it doesn't happen prancing around.
And the Greeks are known for lots of great things that we've inherited, like democracy and the arts and the sciences and what we're doing right now, this this three Alagoas, through these microphones, these are all Greek things and Greek technology that we've accepted as part and parcel of Western civilization.
But there was another part to them, and it's a part, again, that is not taught in high school mythology or Western civ. And there's this deeply mystical aspect in the mysteries, for example, which which the Greeks really look to as something that wasn't just like a special part of civilization, but the central part of it.
So there is this I'll tell you a story about this, this fourth century historians awesomes. He records the testimony of a Roman guy named Protech Status who was initiated at Elucidates because remember, it wasn't just people from Greece. It was around the Greek empire, including at that time were people who had been influenced by the Greeks. And Alexis has survived up until the 4th century A.D., at which point it is it's destroyed. It's eliminated by the Christian right.
Yeah, by the Christianize Roman Empire in in the late 4th century. And so there were there were different attempts to wipe it off the map. And in 364, the Emperor Valentini and he essentially outlaws all nocturnal celebrations because these things are always at night. Oluseyi was at night, which speaks to part of the experience. And this guy protectant. This is recorded as saying Valentini and please don't shut this down. I'm an initiate. I've been to elucidates.
I've drunk the potion. I've seen the goddess. Please do not eliminate this.
Elucidates is the one thing that holds the entire human race together, he said.
He said if you get rid of elucidates, life for us will become a Biota's, which in Greek means unliveable. It wasn't just about Greek existence, it was about human existence.
There was something happening at elucidates with that potion, with this beatific vision that literally held civilisation together like glue for the ancient Greeks and democracy of the arts, the sciences, everything else was an offshoot of that experience. Oluseyi was the foundation.
One of the things you talked about was that there was this transference, like the Eucharist eventually became a placebo. Do you do you do you think that that what do you think it was initially?
Do you think it was a psychedelic mushroom?
So that's a legro. Certainly thought that. Right, right. So Jon Margolick, author of The Sacred Mushroom in the Scroll. So he releases that book in 1970 and he claims that Christianity is the guys for a Near Eastern fertility cult. And it's I mean, I think it's very interesting, but there aren't many linguists who support the proposition. Right?
There's there's a lot of people that disagree with them pretty heavily. Right.
I mean, from a purely linguistic perspective, it's I mean, to explain it briefly. So he says that you read this sacred mushroom in the cross.
Yeah. Do you read it several times. Did you read the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian myth as well from Legro?
Yeah, that's the one that was so the Catholic Church bought out the original one. Right. And it was very difficult to get a hold of for the longest time you had to buy copies of it.
I've heard rumors to that effect. Yes. Yeah. And then he so he comes out the second book, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth.
What what knowing is. As you know about language, what did you did you feel like you made leaps? Did you feel like he made these connections that maybe were based on speculation?
So he writes, it's pure philology, right? So it's word games and things that only linguists. I mean, I think it's incredible that people who aren't linguists can actually read that it's really, really difficult to read Sacred Mushroom in the cross. But the basic premise is that the New Testament written in Greek has this Semitic substratum. So underneath the Greek, the the author, the gospel writers and Paul are actually referring to different terms in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that these terms have in turn come from the Sumerian, which any linguist would say is a language isolette, that there is no real relationship between Sumerian and the Indo-European languages like Greek and the Semitic.
So the the premise of the argument is something that most linguist don't accept, however. And Kraul Ruck has written the afterword to one of the editions you probably have of Sacred Mushroom in the Cross. And he gets into some complex theories about psycholinguistics. And this interesting idea that just because they aren't related, there are certain words, certain names, certain vocabulary like plant definitions, which which would carry across the different languages. And I find that somewhat interesting.
But when you when you dig into the the words that Allegro was recreating, he's he places an asterisk next to to these words because they can't be corroborated by the ancient texts. So some of these Sumerian words, he he straight up hypothesises as existing. They're not they can't really be found in the existing tablets. So it's hard to correlate some of those meanings. He draws down from the Sumerian. But that said, he makes very interesting claims. For example, like in one Corinthians 22, there's this interesting line where he says about that we preach Christ crucified is is a scandal for the Jews and a folly for the Greeks.
And scandalous in Greek means like a bolt or a snare, like a trap. And Allegro ties it to like a tequila in Aramaic, which is like the what he calls the bolt mushroom and in Sumerian acoustic gilla. And so he's saying that Paul's actually telling the Jews that, you know, the the Christ crucified is a mushroom instead of a scandal. And it's like it's like a code word, like the scandal on is a mushroom. And then for the Greeks, he says it's a folly which is moire in Greek, which actually means Mandrake, which is another psychedelic plant.
So there's all this this different, you know, wordplay going on.
But it's really hard to tease out any physical forensic evidence for this stuff, which was what it was, was Allegra's position, if I recall correctly, that the sacred mushroom was Amanita muscaria. Yeah, that was even the cover of his book Photo Muscaria and that and that's where I have a I think Alliegro did amazing work, but that's that's one area where I where I have a problem with with Amanita Muscaria as the as the psychedelic of choice in early Christianity, because in shamanic cultures where Amanita Muscaria is used, it's recognized that the potion that the mushroom is much more effective after it's been passed through a human body or indeed through the body of a reindeer and emerged in urine.
And so so the those those shamanistic cultures of Siberia use Amanita Muscaria by drinking it in the urine of a shaman who has previously consumed the mushroom. And I don't see a lot of evidence for that in early Christianity. And it's why I like the work that Brian has done, looking at the really hard evidence for psychedelics in early Christianity, which are not which are not in this case, Amanita Muscaria.
If I'm correct, Brian, isn't the speculation about Amanita Muscaria that it's seasonable, it's seasonal, it's also genetically variable, like there's there's different species, like much like different fruits taste differently. There's different versions of the Amanita Muscaria that have more psychedelic compounds in them. And then there's all sorts of ways of preparing them that we've completely lost. Am I getting this wrong? I've only had one Amanita muscaria experience and it wasn't very convincing.
Hmm. Yeah. And this is this is often often the case. But but I'm told I've not had the experience myself, but I'm told that if you can bear the idea of drinking the shaman's urine after he or she has consumed the Amanita Muscaria, you will have a really powerful journey.
Yeah, but you don't want a shaman just laughing hysterically after you drink the jokes. I used to.
But, yeah, there's there's also so many correlations between the Amanita Muscaria and Santa Claus and Santa Claus to shamans. There's colours, the red. White. Yeah. There's also the you know, the bag, the toys, the the fact that they would drive them on on these coniferous trees, the fact that these mushrooms have this mycorrhizal relationship with coniferous trees where they they tend to grow under pine trees, which is the tree that we use for Christmas trees, for the fact that they're bright red, like a toy is in a package waiting for a child to open it up.
It's there's so many of these weird connections, the colours, the fact that reindeer are with Santa Claus, the fact these reindeer fly, you know, through the heavens. Yeah.
I mean, that Cariboo are notoriously attracted to Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. In fact, people that have had psychedelic rituals and gone outside to urinate have talked about Cariboo knocking them over to try to get to their urine, cariboo, our reindeer, you know, so they have been observed eating these things. So they have this weird relationship. All those things are together connected in some sort of a strange way. And there's also a history of shamanic rituals being outlawed in Siberia.
And the way they got around it was they would come through the chimney, which is just crazy. They would they would climb on to people's roofs and and slide down the chimney to deliver the mushrooms.
It's just not another example of the way that our culture takes an ancient historical truth and completely castrates it and turns and turns it into Santa Claus. You know, whereas what we're what we are actually dealing with are profound experiences in deeply altered states of consciousness.
Well, it's also this information seems to have been lost fairly recently, because if you go back to the early 1950s and 40s and look at birthday Christmas cards, the Christmas cards and depictions of Christmas almost always contained elves and Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The Amanita muscaria mushroom was synonymous with Christmas for some strange reason. Have you ever seen those? Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's crazy, right? Yeah. Like, what is that?
It's all over the fairy tale books too.
You get you can't avoid the Amanita. Yeah. Everywhere you look. Which is why I think Allegro was also interested writing in 1970 and studying it in the 50s and 60s. I think that's why he climbed on to the Amanita.
But it's such an unconvincing mushroom like the people that I know that have experienced it in terms of a psychedelic ritual. It's just I don't know anybody who's really blown their brains out with it. No.
And Gordon Wasson also thought it was the the ingredient behind Silma as well. He writes a book about this in 1968, Soma Divine Mushroom of Immortality. That was his guest, too, for for Soma.
But Wassan was experienced with psilocybin, which is so universally regarded as being effective. That's why it's so confusing.
I always found that strange to to be honest. So so wasn't I mean, to explain where this where this comes from. Watson has this incredible experience with Maria Sabena in nineteen fifty five. And welcome to Mexico when he. Consumes the, we think, Sasabe, Mexicana, and he is catapulted to the heavens and he has this vision that that he describes as the realest thing he's ever experienced under the influence of the psilocybin and the thought occurs to him.
He writes later in 1957 in Life magazine, he says that the could it be the case that the divine mushrooms are, in fact, the answer behind the ancient mysteries, which is why he then went and started looking at the Amanita perhaps, or eventually ergot, which is where I pick up the scent at some point in his correspondence with Albert Helfman. They together began focusing on ergot, like we said, because it's so common and so natural, but so highly toxic, too.
And Albert claimed to have this experience with it. And so for for years and years after teaming up with Carl Ruck, they were convinced that ergot had to somehow be involved.
So what is the speculation of what the Eucharist originally was? According to the early Gnostics, yeah, I mean, what is there any text that explains what the initial food was?
Well, I mean, we have the canonical explanation from the gospels. We have and we have St St Paul's letter. I mean, the honest answer and I think and any priest would say this, too, is the honest answer is we don't know. You know, the gospels are written anytime between 65 and 100 A.D. Paul's letters are some of the earliest writings that we have, like the letter to the Corinthians, for example. He's he writes that in about 53 A.D. And the way he describes what's happening there is very, very interesting.
Maybe we can we can pull it up. Actually, I brought some of the some of the Greek from the new Corinthians. It's under Christian pharmaco. And the four, Corinthians 11, 30. So at some point I was looking for I was looking for what that original Eucharist was to and where it was taken, so you have to you have to think about the the Greek role at this time. You know, Jesus is born in the Holy Land, but Christianity really takes root in the Greek speaking parts of the empire, which is why Paul's letters are written to Greek speaking people.
Right. And why it's interesting to follow this theory, because you have the ancient Greek speaking Greek in the pagan world, but you also have ancient Greek speaking Greek in this Christianizing world. And so the people in Corinth is this church, not far from Oluseyi, by the way. In fact, today it's only an hour west of Elucidates and one of the earliest churches is there. And Paul is addressing this early church in Greek. And at the at the bottom, you can read the English, but he's essentially yelling at them for consuming the wrong kind of Eucharist.
And earlier in this in this chapter, he calls it a cup of demons.
And at the end, he says that's why so many of you are weak and sick and a number of you have fallen asleep. And I hear the word coatimundi there. So Komarow in Greek, I can tell you for certain, does not mean to fall asleep. Oh, means to die because it's the exact word that John's Gospel uses about Nazareth. Remember the famous miracle where Lazarus dies and he's resurrected?
That be a pretty shitty miracle. If Lazarus was just taking a nap and Jesus went to wake him up from a nap, so and uses the same verb there.
What Paul is saying here is that he's concerned that so many Corinthians are drinking a wine that is causing them to die. Why would wine cause you to die in a Greek world that had no distilled liquor, there was no hard alcohol in ancient Greece. Distilled liquor doesn't enter Europe until much, much later, eighth, ninth, 10th centuries, A.D. Right at this time, there's no word for alcohol either. Alcohol is Arabic.
If you listen to the word like alchemy or algebra or alcohol, all these A-L words all come from the Arabic. A-L is like the the article in Arabic, like El in Spanish or in Italian. So at this point, wine is not known for its alcoholic content. Wine is a potion that is routinely mixed with all kinds of stuff toxins, spices, perfumes and plants, herbs and fungi. And here we don't know what to make of it. But the Corinthian's are drinking something that's causing them to die.
The word is die, Kohima. Oh, absolutely means to die because it's the word that in fact you can go to to the next slide. Jamie, it's the if you look it up right there, it means just like we would say, the sleep of death, but it means death.
And elsewhere in the Gospels, it's the exact word used for what happened to Nazareth before his miraculous resurrection. It's the whole point of the miracle. He is coma. Oh, he has fallen asleep to the death of sleep well.
So the speculation is that there's some sort of a psychedelic or a fungi or something that's in the wine that's causing them to die in. They're using it regularly, recreationally, and they're they're trying to discourage this. That's that's how I read it.
And it's and it's not just based on a random read of this one line in Corinthians. It's based on an understanding of of what Greek wine actually was, how far back it goes, which is centuries and centuries before this, how it was mixed, what it was mixed with. Even in the first century. There's a guy called disgorges a Greek pharmacologists. In fact, he's called the father of drugs. And at the same time that these gospels and Paul's letters are being written, he writes something called the Muttalib America.
It's these five books in Greek. And every drug prescription you've ever had in your life exists because Disgorges wrote that manuscript. And in that manuscript, in Book five, he lists out in book five alone, 56 different recipes for spiked wine. And in the Greek, he shows you how to spike wine with everything from salvia to hellebore to henbane, which he says is good for swallowing genitals.
So if you have swollen genitals, you you dissolve henbane into wine, he says. If you drink, man, drink wine like a legro was talking about Mandrake, it'll kill you and one cupful. And then he says this about Black Nightshade and book 474. He says, if you dissolve nightshade into wine, it will produce Fantasias Ayyad advice, which in Greek means not unpleasant visions. So just from the literature, we can tell that the Greeks absolutely knew how to spike wine with very powerful substances.
Graham, I got to tell you, your microphone is really sensitive. So any time you do anything, any movement or breathing, it bangs around for whatever reason.
Sorry, just just have to make you aware of it.
I still know everything. Everything's fine, but any time.
You bet it's just really over. Hours, everything unfortunate, dear, sorry, can I be turned down at the switchboard or something? I don't know. It's I don't think that's what it is. I think it's a typo in the recording that says Jamie Jamil, clean it up, writing him down. It's OK. He's writing down all the noises. That's how good Jamie is. I wanted to bring up Sage to you because one of the things that you talked about was salvia.
Salvia is sage, right? They are basically in the same species, at least when those priests would be walking down the aisle and they would be blowing sage, the burning sage. Was that for some sort of a psychedelic effect? Is that the reason why they were doing that?
So when when it comes to incense, we actually have an answer.
Now, I'm not sure if you know this, but earlier this year in May, there were some researchers in Israel who released one of the first Archil chemical studies of ancient incense. Have you heard about this now? Oh, it's so just in May at a place called Tell Adad in Israel, south of Jerusalem, west of the Dead Sea, there was the organic remains of some kind of incense that was burned on these two altars. That is described by the researchers as kind of a scaled down version of Solomon's Temple, its data to the 8th century BC.
So in the Juda period, so we could feasibly say the beginnings of the Judeo-Christian period. Oh, yeah, there it is. Frankincense. I love that word.
So under Archil chemical analysis and this this sample had actually been excavated years ago in the 1960s and was deposited in the museum. But the thing with with this, the science, which is amazing, is that they can resurrect this stuff no matter when it was excavated. So fortunately, it wasn't contaminated. And after analysis, they found it contained THC, CBD and Sieben, so tetrahydrocannabinol kind of cannabidiol and cannabidiol. And so it's the first they say it's the first example of psychoactive drug use in the ancient Holyland, essentially.
So when they were walking down the aisle, would they use only we know that was cannabis, but Sage was used as well.
Right. And Sage is Salvia Divinorum, which is a more potent psychedelic than cannabis.
Yeah, but I think that's a new world plant, though, is it? If I'm not mistaken. Oh yeah. I mean, at least the one you're thinking of.
So when they use it, when you say New World, you're talking about European world in the Americas. Oh, Americas really. So sage use when they would have it in that. What is that Gram. You would know this.
What is that thing that they walked down the aisle with when they sense a sensor, a sensor that's really what's called the sensor. And so. Ah yeah. Oh yeah. It's a sensor. So the interesting double entendre there. Yeah. Censorship. Yeah.
So there were most certainly using cannabis or something else that they were burning and they're getting ever really high and frankincense. Yeah. And what is frankincense.
It's an aromatic spice so it just smells, smells like we don't think it's psychoactive but maybe at the right dose it could be but the cannabis certainly was.
So they would give everybody marijuana smoke, just walk down the aisle and blow marijuana smoke.
If I may add whether or not the smoke is psychedelic, it is adding to the experience. It's adding to the to the setting. And again, anybody who's worked with psychedelics will know that the setting is at least as important as the substance itself. So they're they're masters of creating this this mysterious and powerful and energizing setting in which the psychedelic experience can then unfold.
It's such a bummer that we know so little about what exactly was going on, but so nice that someone like you has done these deep dives into it. Or at least we could pull out whatever we can.
And it just makes me think like what? Where would we be if people like you weren't doing this? It's so it's so rare.
This is why I'm not doing D.A., man, I you wouldn't be doing it. I don't know. You might be doing it with more feverish need. I mean, you might be really obsessed with it.
It's just it's it's so strange. And Gram, I always go back to your your statement, which I think is such a great quote, that we're a species with amnesia. Yeah. In regard to our archaeology, our history, but also in regard to our use of psychedelics. Yeah.
What we've just not been given the straight scoop about, about our past. Sometimes it's just purely the way that scholars work, that academics work. And sometimes I think in the case of Christianity, it is actually a kind of conspiracy. I think there was a deliberate effort to cover up the role of psychedelics. And you could see why priests in the developing Roman Catholic faith who've already pulled on the jackboot of the Roman Empire, you could see why they wouldn't like their congregations using psychedelics, because when you use psychedelics, you have a direct.
The experience of the divine and hey, you don't need that priest anymore, the priest as an intermediary between you and the Divine becomes becomes redundant. And I think that there was a concerted effort to cover up the role of psychedelics in early Christianity and to present a different narrative, which it was purely was the the bread and the wine, the blood and the and the body of Christ in a symbolic sense and not in in an actual sense of a substance that connects us to the divine.
So the literature that connects the banning of these psychedelic rituals in fourth century, you were saying, how does it describe it? And what was the was the reaction by by the people? I mean, at the time, so you have to remember that the Greek mysteries existed for a long, long time. Yeah, we don't know exactly how long, but the excavators and this this began in analysis. For example, in 1887, they dated back to at least 1500 B.C. So if it survives until the 4th century ad, you're talking almost 2000 years, as long as Christianity itself has been around and the mysteries themselves.
And there are serious scholars who came along in the 70s to say this could have prehistoric roots, which is how I started the investigation by by asking how how this actually got to the Greeks. Because what's interesting about this kookie on potion, for example, is that it's not wine based and that him to Dimitar that came down to us, she's actually offered wine in this mythical story that takes place. She's out looking for her daughter, Stephanie, who's been abducted and kidnapped to the underworld.
And she looks for her for nine days and nights and can't find her. And she she rests her bones exhausted at Alexis. And they try to offer her wine and she says, no, she wants that water, barley and mint. And again, Hofman, Wassan and Rock thought it was kind of like a primitive version of beer. If you think about it, it reads like a very simple beer recipe, not for the Greeks all the way through the classical period, through Plato.
And afterwards, for them to be drinking beer instead of wine is very, very weird for them to have a secret mystery religion that's not written down. Remember the civilization that birthed literature and the concept of the university as we know it is also very weird. So it's like they are retaining this very prehistoric ritual and this very prehistoric beverage, which is beer. And as I traced it back, further and further, you can see clues of beer being used in funerary and mortuary rituals as far back as 13000 years.
And there are some who think that that beer actually precedes bread. At that moment, we call the agricultural revolution where the upper Paleolithic becomes the Neolithic. And Graham writes a lot about this and very beautifully at Go Back Teppei, for example. So I was able to trace back the potential brewing of religious beer all the way back to go back, Teppei.
And the speculation is that this religious beer had some Ergun in it.
Possibly it's possible. It's possible. We we haven't done much testing for ergot that far back. I mean, that's why I wanted to write this book, is because the science is relatively new. Archil chemistry, for example, is relatively new. It's some of the better findings have been coming out over the past twenty years, which is which is like a baby in the sciences. In fact, a Pat McGovern at the University of Pennsylvania, who I interviewed for the book, described Archil chemistry at the time in the late 90s when he was producing some incredible finds as as like an infant, which would make it like a toddler today.
And so we're just beginning to put these pieces together so we can't say there was psychedelic beer 13000 years ago. The question right now is, was there beer at all? And there are there's very early indications at go back Latapy itself that they were brewing beer and at another site to the southwest in Israel at Mount Carmel outside Haifa, there's this really interesting place called the Rochefort Cave. And it was a burial site with about 30 individuals. This is between eleven thousand seven hundred B.C and nine thousand seven hundred B.C. A team from Stanford went in there and they found these Boulder mortars in which they found traces of the melting and mashing of grains, which they think was for beer.
This is 13000 years ago, Graham, which brings which brings us to the to the upper Paleolithic. And then we have the whole mystery of rock and cave art all around the world. So Brian is right. We haven't got the analysis that proves that a psychedelic was in that 13000 year old beer. But what we do have thirteen thousand years ago and going back much further 27, 40, 50000 years ago is art. And that art really only makes sense as psychedelic art.
I mean, what where else? But in a visionary state do you see an entity that is part human and part animal in form that is part of lion and part of human being? It's not something you see every day. It's not something you see when you're out hunting game. But seeing these three anthropos, as they are called, is a very common experience in deeply altered states of consciousness. So the art itself speaks to us of artists who had had powerful experiences in deeply altered states.
What is the conventional conventional speculation about those images? The half man, half animal images?
Increasingly, it is that that they document psychedelic states. There's a professor at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, David Lewis Williams, written a book called The. Mined in the cave, who's documented this in great detail, that the only possible explanation for this odd which is found all over the world, is not just found in one region or one place, is that the artists were shamans, that they were experiencing altered states of consciousness. And when they return to a normal, everyday state of consciousness, they remembered their visions and painted them on cave walls.
And those visions, what might well be a lion man or a bison man, and that entity had communicated with them just in the way that entities communicate with us today under the influence of DMT or psilocybin.
Did you have a sense of urgency while you were writing this? Did you understand that this is something that very few people who are legitimate scholars are going to really tackle?
Well, it hadn't been done. And I don't I don't know why nobody was was doing this and combining the humanities and the linguistics with with with the sciences. I've been waiting for this book to come along and no one wrote it.
So you had to write it. Your sense that I wasn't doing DMD and I had plenty of free time. How long did it take? 12 years. Wow.
Was there any point in time where you were like, what the fuck am I doing? If you ask my wife.
Yeah, especially your spouse to be a lawyer, man, no one's paying you for this. You went to the Vatican. Was it was a real issue.
Oh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Yes. It's you know what? It's a good point. This is this is really, really hard. And it brings up something. I've been talking with the researchers about this, too. So when I talk about Archil chemistry, I mentioned Pat McGovern at Penn. There's another guy, Andrew Coe at MIT. And every time I have a question, these guys are there to answer it. Andrew's awesome.
He's a younger guy in his mid 40s. He's he's been doing this stuff his his whole life. He has a background in classics like like I do. And so he's the only person I've talked to who seems like the the legitimacy of this kind of pursuit, because he's one of those guys who can think about the humanities and the sciences at the same time. But it's it's tough. There is no discipline for this. You can't get a PhD in the hunt for ancient intoxicants.
No one's out there studying for it. It just doesn't exist.
And those who do study it find it very, very hard to get gainful employment. You can't get paid to do this stuff. And so a little bit later, we'll talk about to Mark geochemists I've been in touch with who have remarkable findings that I want to share here. But they've each since left the discipline.
So they were doing incredible work twenty years ago, in the late 90s and early 2000s were finding incredible things. But I mean, life being what it is, they had to leave the profession.
Well, let's get to that now. Who are they and what are they?
So there's a couple of different guys, one there. So there are two finds that I really went out of my way to to put into this book. One is trying to find hard evidence of this archetype beer and the other is trying to find actual hard evidence of wine that's been spiked. And ideally, that would that would be spiked wine in the context of some kind of Christian ceremony or some syncretic Greek Christian ceremony in the first century A.D. And so I spent years and years trying to get in contact with these folks and reading through the Archil botany journals.
And I'll start with ergot first since I was really kind of fascinated with ergot and this hypothesis from 1978, because it sits there for now. Forty years and there's no hard data to come by. And people often argue about ergot the same way we argue, argue about Amanita and the other candidates because it's it doesn't make sense. We know it's there. We know it's common, but it doesn't make the most sense as the thing that would have spiked this beer.
So I spent a long time looking for ergotism beer or any beer that was spiked. Now, if you go to the top Archil chemists or Arquero botanists in the U.S., the UK or Europe, and I did for many years and I asked them the very simple question, is there any botanical or chemical data of beer having been spiked with psychedelics? And the universal answer that would always come back is no. And so I'd ask them again and the answer would be no.
And so I started to think about the ancient world and what that meant and what ancient Greece meant. And so first I went to the site that allows us to ask the archaeologists there if we could test her vessels. And I couldn't believe that nobody had ever asked her if they could submit the test, the vessels to chemical testing. And so I flew there and I talked to her about it and she said, unfortunately, they've all been treated for conservation purposes.
You know, they put them in museums and they exhibited them to the public. And when you do that, you contaminate the the artifact and it's no longer testable. Oh, so that was my dead end. And that's where things stop for a while. And that's where my wife starts asking.
You know, Brian, you you flew to Greece by yourself and left your two daughters at home for no reason. So you could ask a lady if you could test her. Chalices, and she told you no. And now what are you going to do? And so I said, well, I'm going to get creative men. And so I thought about the ancient Greek world. Here's the thing about the ancient Greek world. In in the wake of Alexander the Great, who was called the Great for a reason, the Greek influence after the fourth third century B.C. stretched all the way from Iberia, Spain and Portugal to Afghanistan in the east.
I'm not sure if many folks realize that, but the Greek speaking or the Greek influenced part of the world was enormous. And so if you're looking for evidence of this kookie on, why would you restrict yourself to Athens analysis? So I took a step back and I started thinking, where else would there be a Greek presence? And I didn't expect to find one. But I landed on Iberia eventually because I started researching ergot in different languages. That was that was my first clue.
You know, there in English, we have this one weird word for it ergot that actually in German, there's lots of words for it. Bizarrely enough, maybe it's because of the history of brewing. But in German there's often Metuchen Tolkan, which means crazy corn, crazy green or tolton corn, which means death corn. And so it's weird that, you know, as you look elsewhere, it seems to be more common to the German mind. And then in Spanish, I just started random Googling for what that is.
It's called Corn is sweeter than Sun Sentinel in Spanish. And a couple of things started popping up. And this these notions of spiked beer started popping up where they weren't supposed to. I never expected to find them. So the first hit that came in was from an archaeological site kind of in the middle mid-west of Spain called the Vijayawada Lead.
And they're in 2003, they found a Greek vessel called a Greek chalice called a Katinas. And it's the same kind of vessel that's used in the Syrian mysteries. It's it's like this little cup with a tiny cup on the outside. I brought a picture for you if you want to see it, I'm sure.
Jamie in in Damascus, Dajarra. If you scroll to the bottom and copy of 29. So this, this, this. That's it. So this came from a site called The Necropolis of Lastra with us and the Necropolis of Leicester with us is this archaeological site that was dated to about the second century B.C.. Now, these aren't Greek people. This is a pre Roman population called the Vucci or the vaccines. But for some reason in this Chernoff's, it tested positive for beer, spiked with ayahuasca.
I mean, if you go to the to the next tab, Jamie, you'll see that they wrote up. It's in Spanish, but there you'll see. That the at the number 76 and 77, when they tested the Chernoff's, which is a very Greek word, by the way, when they tested the Chernoff's, it tested positive for traces of whio scheming and how Schemin can only occur in these small Natus plants, these nightshade plants you're talking. So it's the family of plants that includes very boring things like the tomato plants and or the potato or tobacco.
But it has these nice shades like Mandrake again or henbane. And so it's one of those propane alkaloids that could have been an henbane, for example. So here you're talking about a henbane beer, which is really weird. The even weirder part is that this is found in a funeral complex, just like just like you would find out go Beckley Teppei or the Rockefeller Cave in Israel 13000 years ago. Here, after thousands and thousands of years, you're seeing this pre Roman population using beer spiked with henbane in a death cult.
And where where the researchers say that it was used to either facilitate the deceased's travel to the other world or maybe the people who were there ushering the deceased into the other world.
They actually use that phrase, holy shit, go back to that image of the cup again, please. So why does it have the cup on the outside of it again? There's the large vessel and there's a small vessel to the side of it.
We don't know that. That's just what that's what a cardinal says. If you scroll to possibly have been portion control.
Exactly. If you scroll it to the top, Jamie, you'll see two other Carnoy on the top right there. Yeah. And so this is this is the next part of the clue.
So so these came from a colony on the east coast of Iberia called IMPORTUNE, which was a bustling Greek colony. And these are our other Chernoff's vessels, just like you would see at Oluseyi. These are the kinds of things that they think the initiates were drinking from. Now, they don't make for very good drinking vessels, but maybe they make for good mixing vessels like flic for dosage control.
You know, something is going on there that that's that's what they thought. The Cardinals was at a loose, for example. And that's what I wanted to test with the archaeologists there who said no. And so now we're finding these vessels in Spain where they're not supposed to be. And I can say as a classicist or one time want to be classicists, that the first thing you think of when you think about the ancient Greeks is not Spain. And all of a sudden I'm coming across this idea of spiked beer in Spain and it's just not supposed to be there.
That's so fascinating. So this image, what is the can you go back to that original image, Jamie, of the. Yeah. The cup with the small cup next to it. What is there what's the conventional description of what this is and why it's shaped this way? I mean, the the Spanish archeologist, they also call this a katanas, I mean, it's the extent of the Greek influence at that particular site. This is the Pinda archaeological site.
The extent of the relationship and the network is is a little unclear, at least at least to me. It's unclear how strong the Greek presence was there. But at the time, by the second century B.C., because the Greeks were already in these other port cities, basically it's not inconceivable that some kind of trade was happening and these vessels would have made their way inland.
Do they have a description as to why there's a small cup connected to the larger cup, though?
It would be the same as any Greek archaeologist has to. We don't know why this was this was associated with the mysteries. No one knows why. It really does logically make sense that it would be some sort of a portion because it's very small. Obviously, you don't want to have too much of that shit.
Yeah, that's really does it really does make complete sense. Yeah, that's what it is that you take one portion of this and makes it with 10 portions of that. Yeah. And then you're going to have an interesting journey.
I can't think of another explanation off the top of my head. Obviously I'm not qualified to speculate, but when I'm looking at this, I'm thinking, oh, that completely. That fits.
But you're on you're on the right track because that that's that's where it led me to was portion control. Yeah. And that's what I found next would find this. I found I found some things. Man. What did you find man.
Right. I'm thinking Col's vessels. And so the vessel doesn't just show up in in the middle of of Spain there. It shows up on the coast at this. And so this this this town's called importation. And today it's called amputee's and it's in Catalonia, in northeast Spain, close to the border with France. And to be totally honest, I'd never heard of and on and I'm not sure if many classicists have, but it was a bustling import export business of the ancient Greeks founded by the Fox Lions who came from Ionia, which is today modern day Turkey.
And they found this place in 575 B.C. And we think that the religion comes with them or some kind of religion. Jamy, if you go back to Thomas Costeja, you can see just an exterior shot of what this this colonial town looks like. And when you look at it again there, I mean, it looks that could be southern Greece. That could be an island in Greece that's on the northeast coast of Spain. That's a statue of Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, standing in a courtyard in Spain.
And the statue dates to at least 5th century B.C..
Wow, and we don't know really what's going on, but in the next slide, the folks who founded this place were devotees of that's that's supposed to be polyphony.
On the left, the Greek goddess persona of the goddess of the underworld, the same goddess who the initiates would find when they made their pilgrimage to elucidates and drank the potion. They went there to meet polyphony. Yeah. And there she is on their coins.
Wow. And then it gets more interesting how so?
So these people don't don't stick to the coast, they go inland at some point and they go inland for a reason. And there's a site that they that they found called Mosquitos out of their pontoise. It's a tiny town called Pontoise. And there's this farm that the archeologists describe as a Greek farm a bit further inland. Jamie, if we go if we go back to the the same file there, we can just click through a bunch of the images and the kinds of things that they found there.
Which are indicative of the Greek mysteries, so that so starting with her, for example, that was that was unearthed at this archaeological site in Pontoise. And the archaeologists responsible for this dig who's been the same woman over the years, since 1990, her name is Enriqueta Ponds. She found this and other objects. She calls this the head of Persephone. Wow.
Or it could be the head of Dimitar, but she either way, she thinks it's a Greek goddess and this is third century B.C. So obviously there's some intense influence.
These are Grecco, Italian and Fawry also did to the third century B.C.. And the next one, that's also some kind of Dimitar percent, that's an incense burner, by the way, you stick incense in the top of it, light it up depending on what your incense is. And it's used in cult rituals. That's third century B.C. and then it gets weirder. They find this fifth century B.C. that belongs in a dining room in Athens, not on a farm in Spain.
That is the that's the origin of comedy right there. Believe it or not, that's called a Como's.
Como's an ancient Greek is one of these drunken parades in honor of the God Dionysus. These are the first paid regulars at the Comedy Store.
And he's got his dick out like Ari Shapiro. They go, wow, that's crazy.
So then it gets weirder. Just south of the site, they find this. And this is Ptolemy's Tripp. Ptolemy's is kind of the missionary of the mysteries. So after Dimitar establishes her temple analysis, they send this guy to go scouring the earth to carry the knowledge of the grain and farming across across Europe.
And if you go to the next one, Jamie. You'll see that it's it's very similar to the kind of autonomous things that show up in Greece, this is from the The Loosest Museum on site analysis. If you compare the two, you see a dude on a flying dragon cart in the left and a dude on a flying dragon cart in the right. They're both Ptolemy's. The last place I ever expected to find Ptolemy's was a farm in Spain. And there it is.
So if Trip Thomas tells you anything, it tells you that the mysteries went west when they're not supposed to. By the way, Graham alluded earlier to this incident that happened in Athens in 414 B.C. to celebrate the mysteries outside of elucidates is a sacrilege, a total sacrilege. It was called The Profanation of the Mysteries. And one of Socrates Star Disciples, this guy Alcibiades, was caught indulging in the mystery ceremony at home instead of at the temple. And he became the Ed Snowden of the ancient world.
He was ostracized. They would have killed him if he didn't run from Athens. So this was serious stuff and sacred stuff. So for them to be celebrating the mysteries, if you think about it, kind of makes sense because no one's looking over their shoulder in Spain. If it's going to happen anywhere, maybe it'd be in the hinterlands of the empire.
So this is people that realized that they wanted to continue these rituals and couldn't do it in Greece anymore. They had to get out. Right.
Or these were folks who either couldn't afford or didn't want to go all the way to Alexis. I mean, you're in Spain. Imagine getting to you can't get to Oluseyi today.
Imagine getting to elucidates 2000 years ago, 2500 years ago. It's really, really difficult.
And this time I make it. If I may give a parallel, it's rather like somebody seeking an ayahuasca experience today and perhaps they can't afford to go all the way to the Amazon rainforest or it just seems too big a journey. So they're going to look for somewhere nearer to home where they can have that experience. And indeed, ayahuasca is available all over the world now.
Yeah, and that's pretty recently, right. Like within the last couple of decades, it's available all over the spread rapidly within the last couple of decades. And I think Brian is suggesting that a similar sort of thing was happening in the ancient world with a different substance, the guy's name.
So right on the nose to talk to all of us. You know, I never thought about that until right now because I don't do that. But I mean, trip people tripping. I mean, it's just ridiculous that his name is Trip. It's interesting. I mean, look at him. He's riding a dragon. His name is Trip Thomas.
And on the next one to Jim, you'll see there's another trip. Tolum is from from Kapua. This is in Italy. So he did go west. We know he went to Italy.
And if he went to Italy, why wouldn't he go to Spain and look at the style of art?
It's completely Greek. Wow, pretty psychedelic at the same time. Yeah, so I guess it is it's but it's so it's so uniform. The in the three different locations, you have the same imagery. Wow.
And so the question that Wassan, Hoffman and Rookwood would immediately, immediately ask is, what is cryptologist doing there? Is he really was he really sent as a missionary to teach people how to farm? That's that's a traditional system that we put in his hands. That's exactly right.
So here he was dispatched. He was dispatched to teach people how to grow cereals. However, across the Neolithic period, people know how to farm. People are already farming, so it starts in the breadbasket economically.
Teppei Anatolia, we have farming across Europe in Greece as early as 6500 B.C. It's by by 4000 or so B.C. It's all over Europe. Why would cryptologists need to be sent on a mission to teach people to do something they already knew how to do, which is farm? And so what they would say is he was teaching not not about growing the grain, but about what grows on the grain, which is Ergun, of course.
And look, someone's pouring something to. Yeah, that's one of those just ritual ablutions, hmm. Wow. So then it gets more interesting. We're waiting, Jamie. Wait, wait, wait, wait. So waiting, Bryan, in addition to Trip Ptolemy's and the heads of Dimitar and Persephone's Enriqueta Porn's finds this gem, which is a two hundred and fifty square foot ritual sanctuary that she calls in Spanish Capezio domestic, which is a household shrine. And she believes it's a household shrine that is specifically dedicated to reenacting the mysteries of Dimitar and polyphony for people who wanted to get in touch with their Greek ancestors.
And she calls this a ritual room for the living to interact with the dead.
But you still need some Greek influence. So in the next slide, you'll see the altar where the activity was happening. Does that look Greek? Very.
So that's a column that was proven by spectrographic analysis to have originated at the Mount Penny telecast's quarry northeast of Athens. It came from Greece and it's sitting in Spain. And what they're doing on that, aside from burning incense all around, is they're sacrificing dogs. They found the remains of three female dogs. There's only one goddess in Greece associated with that. And that's Hecate, who is the mother of the witch Searcy and the patroness of all witches. And they're sacrificing dogs to her because she's known as the cownose Fargas in Greek, which is the dog eater.
What's. Got the other things you find in that room, aside from the Greek altar and the Greek goddess to whom dogs are being sacrificed in an underworld journey with the living and dead or communing is a Greek hearth. And Enriqueta uses the Greek word Escarra. For that, you can go to the next one. So in addition to the Greek altar and the Greek hearth, she finds these, which are very Greek shaped cups. These are called. The conference is the ritual vessel that was only used by the God Dionysus to drink his magic potion.
She finds about ten of these in and around the area. And when I heard all this after the Greek influence is swimming on this place, I called up Kraul Ruck, who at the time was 84 years old. He's now 85 years old and his career was severely impacted after the release of Ninetta, the 1978 book The Road to A loses his career essentially tanks. It was the classic case of the wrong book at the wrong time. He was not supposed to write this because he did.
He was deposed as the as the chair of the classics department. He was cut off from grad students. He was discouraged from interdisciplinary scholarship with his colleagues and he became the drug guy. You know, classicists don't write about drugs, but the book really, really impacted his life. And he became kind of the black sheep of the classics estate. And there's no evidence to prove that this organized beer actually exists. And so, you know, his his career kind of went into a nosedive.
And so I've been keeping him up to speed on all this work. And so I called him up and invited him to come see this this ritual chapel with me. And so that's him getting his very first look at the at the incense burner and the cup. And there he's in an ancient staring contest with Dimitar looking at this cup. And I didn't take him all the way to Spain just so he could look at a cup. It's because of what was in the cup.
And so in the mid 1990s, after it was excavated, this woman, Enriqueta, the archaeologists, for some reason, we don't know why she got in touch with a young Archil botanists who I mentioned before, Jordi, and they subjected this this chalice to analysis. And what they found was beer. Wow, so this thing was filled at some point with some kind of ritual beer that was used in some kind of ceremony dedicated to Dimitar and polyphony, but that's not all they found.
They also found the remains of ergot. Hmm. Wow. And it is the first and most compelling data to support this scorned hypothesis from 1978 that's ever emerged.
What was that like for him to experience that? He's had to be just completely mind blowing, but also frustrating that he was right all along. And I expected that to and I asked him, I have a video of me talking to him at the chapel. I ask him what this all means. And he was he's he's not salty about it. He 42 years. 42 years. Yeah, not at all.
He's got a good life. He's he's happy. I think he I think he feels he I think he feels vindicated. Yes.
And and I know he's excited to talk about this in public. And this is the first time we're talking about it in public. And I know he wants to dive deep on this, but this is something he's dedicated his entire professional life to.
And he is. You said he's 83. He's 85 now. 85, yeah.
How how is he holding up physically?
He's OK now. He's in quarantine. He lives in this beautiful, prerevolutionary war home that I went to visit a couple of years ago. I describe it as something like the British Museum having been ransacked by a group of mischievous elves. He he's surrounded by mushrooms and busts of Dimitar. And he's got some some artifacts that belong to Gordon Watson, who was his his mentor in many ways, you know, a father figure.
So from 78 on, he was just balls deep in this stuff.
He dove head in instead of turning around after he was yelled at for being the drug guy. He if you look him up and his CVI, this this is it's all he does is is right about the potential use of drugs in the in the ancient world.
Did he have personal experiences? Many, yeah. So that's probably why he started writing about it.
As a matter there's really no reason. Not as a matter of fact, when I mentioned that letter from Albert Hoffman to Gordon Watson in 1976 when when he self dosed on the organising, he sent some in the letter, it says he sent some in the mail to Gordon Watson, who politely declined and made and made Rukh do it and said, wow.
So for rocklike, what was it like for you to be able to show this to ruck, to give him hard evidence to show him these cups, to tell him about the tests that were done, the fact that they discovered got the fact that they know these vessels were holding beer? I mean, this vindication to be there physically? Well, that's vindication emerges.
It was psychedelic, man. Yeah, it was really emotional. I mean, it's still emotional for me.
And I mean, to be clear, there's more testing and more analysis that needs to be done. This is this was this was 20 years ago. And the breaking news is that that original sample may may be stashed away somewhere at the University of Barcelona. And Jordi was going to go look for it covid intervene. So we very much want to retest this stuff. Andrew Kohut, MIT very much wants to get a chemical sample. So I want to be a little careful.
But the way it exists today is extraordinarily compelling and odds are there's probably even more evidence, some of which hasn't even been excavated and for for rockets or for the field in general. I think it's it's it's really and I think it's extraordinary.
Well, the dots all connect themselves. I mean, that's what's really amazing about it. It's if you look at what you've discovered and if you look at the history of these people getting together and having these rituals and what we know about psychedelics and particular LSD and what Albert Hofmann is showing and any people who've experienced LSD now, I mean, it all fits right in all. Makes sense. It's crazy. It's just. And what what where would we be if you didn't write this book?
That's what's really interesting.
You know, there's seven plus billion people on this planet and it just takes one person to not listen to their wife.
And next thing you know, you hear that, PJ, you hear that just he was right.
Thank God she's cool. You just saved my marriage.
I swear it. I swear to Christ. I think you just saved my marriage. She cool with it now? No, I mean, you know, she wants to see how this goes and then she'll be cool.
Oh, it'll go great. This book's going to sell like crazy. Are you going to do an audio version of it? I read it myself.
Oh, nice. When is it going to be out. It's out. Is it out right now or today or tomorrow. Yeah. Oh okay. Because I try to look for it. Yesterday really wasn't it wasn't Auron. No Apple. I wasn't available. OK, the twenty ninth I think.
Oh the, the publication date is the twenty ninth of September and that's also the same publication. Date is the paperback of my Lost Civilization book America. Before I want to be clear that the immortality key is Brian's book.
Yes. You wrote my my contribution to it is the is the foreword and I'm grateful to Brian for asking me to to do that. I think Brian has done really important work. And I think the next step now is to demystify this field and get more science at work on this subject instead of just closing our eyes and closing our minds to these extraordinary possibilities that we've been radically misled about our own past.
Yeah, and I think thanks thanks to the great work of Rick Doblin and Dr. Rick Strassman and yourself and so many other people that have contributed to this, it's now something that people are allowed to speculate about. It's now something that people allowed to test. Yes, people are having real legitimate conversations about these things now. Hmm. Yeah. Yeah.
This this this was the attempt to use 21st century science to test an ancient hypothesis.
And part of the part of the issue is the ancient Greeks and the other parts, the Christians. I mean, all we had for a long time was Allegro. So I spent some time.
If Rock was right about this was rock right about what he writes about the Christians. And he does write about psychedelic sacraments in the Christian.
And what was his speculation about the psychedelic sacraments in the.
He also likes the Amanita Muscaria. Really? Yeah. Why is everybody like that one? Do you think this is also I'm asking you as a person who hasn't experienced psychedelics? I do not know very many people that have had successful experiences with it. It's very confusing. But I do recognize that it's like McKenna speculated very much that we've lost our ability to understand, like how to prepare, where we're when to prepare and when to pick it. And then it's seasonal.
And there's there's so many variables.
You know, I think we're ignorant about how to use these things in our society. I speak of a species with amnesia. We've forgotten the old techniques and the old ways of doing things. We've there's been a concerted effort in the in the modern world to demonize these substances and to cut them out of our lives and to associate them with irrational behavior and craziness and so on and so forth, and to move to move forward in this field. It I hate to use the word, but it needs to be made more respectable because it's the key to understanding so much about ourselves that has been obscure and mysterious until now.
It's just for a person who's experienced and it's so strange the contrast between the experience itself and the public's perception of it, particularly the average person who has not experienced psychedelics, who looks at it like this frivolous, ridiculous thing, like why would you engage in such a thing?
Why would you I mean, I remember I had a conversation with Michio Kaku about it once talking to him about psychedelic mushrooms. And he was basically telling me, like scientists want to strengthen their mind. They don't want to ruin their mind in that sense. Like, you don't want to waste your mind on drugs. Yeah. Oh, there's a guy who needs to do some drugs. Yeah, exactly.
I mean, people make these kind of statements as though they're facts. Yes. Yeah. Those people have had no experiences of the of of the substances concern.
But I also think for his own research, though, for his own career, you almost have to say things like that. Or at least then we're talking when I have this conversation with him more than a decade ago, probably 15 years ago. So when you have these experiences and you you know, you run into the conventional perception of these, you understand that these people almost like like what happened with Rock and what happened with many other scholars that took chances and discussed these things.
You wound up being this crazy person. You wound up being this easily dismissed person.
And it's very it's it's in many ways discouraged in a very powerful way.
And it because there's no there has been a hugely well organized and well-funded propaganda war against these substances. Our society prides itself on the Problem-Solving state of consciousness and the alert Problem-Solving state of consciousness does have an important role to play. But part of the madness of our society, why it's become so suicidally dangerous is because the problem Problem-Solving state of consciousness has been given a monopoly position. And what psychedelics do is they undermine the dominance of the elite Problem-Solving state of consciousness, and they show us the much wider range of consciousness that is that is available and therefore they are insidious to the powers that be.
Those powers that run and control our world today don't want people thinking for themselves. They don't want the propaganda to be unpicked by a mushroom. And that's why we've we faced this propaganda war. And what we're dealing with is the legacy of that propaganda war. And the majority the majority of people, unfortunately, don't realize that they've been subjected to 50 or 60 years of lying propaganda. They think it's actually all facts. Yeah, this is what needs to be unpicked.
And we're in the middle of a crisis in this country in regards to police violence and police brutality. And a big part of that is the war on drugs. It's a giant part of it. It's responsible for the Brianna Taylor murder, which is being discussed right now. And people are protesting. That was a war on drugs. Absolutely no knock raid. I mean, that's that's that's what that's about. And most of these war on drugs at all, this is this is the thing.
It's a completely maniacal idea because ultimately it's not the war on drugs. And I've used this phrase before. It's a war on consciousness. Yes. I was just it does not want certain kinds of consciousness to be experienced. It wants to shut them down. And and it treats us like children. If adults are not free to make sovereign decisions about their own health, their own consciousness and their own bodies while doing no harm others, then freedom is a meaningless word.
Yeah, unfortunately, freedom is a meaningless word in the societies we live in today. We do live in a heavily mined, controlled society where facts are where propaganda is disguised as fact. I agree with you, but I think this battleship is slowly turning and it is these kind of conversations that we're having right now. It's irresponsible in a big way for shifting the way people perceive these things for the longest time. The only way we've been explained to the only way these subjects have been explained to us has been in demeaning terms and that that these are bad experiences and you're going to wreck your life.
You're going to ruin your life. And and when we're here saying, well, maybe it'll make you a better person, like these are revolutionary thoughts and the 21st century that and the fact that there's so many people that are echoing these statements and so many really intelligent, well-educated people who haven't ruined their lives, who have families and jobs, and they're saying, no, this is actually good for you. Yeah.
And, you know, if it comes down, I think it needs to be recast in the issue of of individual freedom and individual sovereignty. Of course, there must be limits on individual freedom. We must not do harm to others in exercising our freedom. But really, taking a psychodelic is the least harmful thing it's possible to do to anybody. It's an entirely inward experience and it should not be controlled by the state and by government. What's happening here is that we are literally being treated like children as adults, and it's a most unfortunate aspect of our society in the way I see government seeking to use the current crisis to add to its power to dominate people's lives, to even enter into their homes, to encourage neighbors to snoop on one another.
It's a very insidious trend that we're in.
And the war on drugs has been a big part of that trend for a long time. And you're right, Joe, the battleship is turning around and it's turning around because people are waking up and they're saying we're just not going to put up with this shit any longer. We're not going to be told what to do. We're not going to be treated as infants by our government here, here.
And the thing about the psychodelic argument to it, it falls apart the the idea of criminalizing it because it lacks all of the rationalizations that you can get with crystal meth and cocaine and death.
Overdose addiction like mushrooms are not addicting like these. These things are not addicting.
And even and even so, we already have laws that deal with negative behavior towards others. So if somebody is on a particular substance and they harm somebody else, we have a law governing that harm that they've done to somebody else. We don't need to have a law that enters the sanctum of the individual's consciousness and tells that person what he or she may think and what he or she may experience. It's really Huxley esque or we'll ask World that we're that we're messing with here.
Now, when you talk to Rock about Christianity and about the use of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom, does does he echo the statements of John Marcoule, that girl? Does he does he buy into that or does he have a parallel perspective on it?
Like his it's it's it's kind of a hybrid. In some of his writings, he's a fan of the Amanita and others. He takes a broader approach. And I think that that was my approach looking at this, too, because the one thing that pops out at you from the ancient Christian world is wine. And the one thing that pops out at you from the ancient Greek world is this is this spiked wine. And Rock does write quite, quite a bit about that in the road to elucidate the same book in 1978 where he talks about this Ergotism beer, he is also talking about spiked wine.
But again, there wasn't much data to go on for the longest time. So same as I was kind of scouring the ancient world for evidence of this organized beer, I took it upon myself to put his other crazy thesis to the test. And I started looking at wine in the ancient world, not just for the Amanita. And I did look for it, by the way. I look for evidence. I didn't find any, but I found other evidence and it starts at the Louvre.
If I can show you a couple couple of pictures. Jamie, can you go to the to the Loof? That's the first time anybody's ever said that to you, Jamie.
Jamie, so in an obscure footnote from 1978, rucked talks about Greek priestesses spiking wine and he makes a reference to an old book from the early 20th century by a German scholar called Freaking House and Freaking House talked about this vase that was apparently in the Louvre that nobody had ever seen. And I took it upon myself to try and find that vase. And so at the very top, Jim, if you if you click on the drawing. This is this is a line drawn by frickin house himself of what he apparently saw in the move at some point in the early 20th century and not many people have seen since.
So this is his illustration of what he recalls being on. Exactly. Exactly. And if you take a look at it or zoom into the woman on the right, you can see her preparing, preparing additives for for the wine. And we can't really make out what they are. But the way frickin house drew it kind of looks like a mushroom in her left hand. I can't really tell. Rux says the other one is a sprig of some herb.
And again, you can't really tell. So I sent an email to the curator at the LOOF, Alexandra Capuano, and I said, I'd like to take a look at this and I'd like to bring my friend along. And my friend is Father Francis Tiso, Roman Catholic priest who happens to be an expert, botanist and herbalist. So I called up Father Francis from his laboratory in in the rustic parts of Italy. And I said, Father Francis, since you are trained at Columbia and Cornell and Harvard Divinity School and you know everything about plants, will you come help identify this for me?
And so he said, sure. So we met at the Louvre and we meet Alexandra. And Alexandra says, you know, these this boss, I can find it for you, but it's not on exhibition. This is this is not in the public catalogue. This is in our storage room. And if you want, I can I can I can take you to the storage room and show you this vase you've been looking for.
And I said, great. And she takes us up to the to the second floor past the statue of the Winget Victory of Semmelroth race. And she ushers us into this completely empty stockroom filled with thousands and thousands of Greek wine vessels. And they're sitting on a table on the next picture. Jamie are what she calls G4 08 and 09. And I believe this is one of the first color photographs taken of them.
Wow. Hmmm, there it is. And so we don't know what's happening here, but we've moved from those mysteries of dyin, of analysis to the mysteries of Dionysus, and there's Father Francis with the with the magnifying glass, trying to figure out what they're adding to the wine. And again, this is it's just a painting, right? We don't know if this is recording an actual event, but we're speculating that that may be the artist.
Try to record something for for posterity in this vase is from 5th century B.C. It's called Red Figure Pottery.
So pretty old. And we take a look, and as we lean in further, I have a mini heart attack because the potteries been chipped just just where she's holding the other ingredient.
So we have no idea what's in the right hand. But I'll let you try and guess what you think is in the left hand on the next the next close up. So that's completely missing there and this is all we have left, what is that? It certainly could be a mushroom. But it could be a lot of things, right? It could be a lot of things. So it was a little disappointing. Yeah. Wow, so when he originally saw it, it had been chipped, so it happened, so maybe I mean, this is how this stuff goes missing, this is how this stuff stays secret.
We don't know how or why it was chipped. Maybe he saw it shipped. It was probably chipped at some point in its long 2500 year history. And he just invented something to put. There would be what I was hoping to find was what you'll see in the next few slides. And this is from a separate Hoodia 5th century B.C. at a museum in Turkey. And this is something rUK has turned up over recent years. These are women, very similar Dionysian tradition, adding plants and herbs to their wine ruck identifies that as IVI.
If you lean in if you go to the next one, Jamy. Ivey's often associated with Dionysus, some of the ancient writers refer to wine spiked with Ivy as drunkenness.
Look at their eyes. Those ladies are tripping balls over their eyes.
I look at their eyes. That's not normal. Yeah, they are wide eyed. The next ingredients more interesting. So there's there's a second ingredient and in the next slide. Hmm, yeah, very much like a mushroom, very mushroom. Yeah, I mean, that would be hard to describe that as. Anything else. Mm hmm. Yeah. Hmm, so this is where the pottery takes us, which is which is not very far. I mean, maybe the artist meant to leave a clue.
Maybe it represents an actual ritual. Maybe it doesn't. We do know that the ancient authors are talking about this stuff a lot. You can go to the next the next slide, Jamie. And after that, whatever whatever the wine was doing to people, this is what it was doing. So when you drank the wine of Dionysus, this is like that that Como's I showed you that vase from Spain. This is this is not quite a camos, but it's another kind of ritual parade.
This is also in the Louvre. If you head downstairs to the cell decorated, you'll see the Borgas, a vase from 40 B.C. And before that, this is this is typically how an initiate of the Diniz mysteries would be pictured. And the next one, Jamie. Right before that. So when they when they drank the wine of dynamicists, it wasn't to get drunk, which was before that. No, no, 15. Bergesen, yeah.
So I've never seen anyone walk up the middle aisle in a Catholic mass and walk away looking like that. Yeah, that dude looks smashed, though. It doesn't look like he's on mushrooms. He looks drunk. What is that thing above his shoulder, though? That looks like a mushroom rug.
So that's called a thesaurus. And the top parts called the narcotics cognate with narcotics. And Rucked thinks it's where they stuffed all the additives. It's where they stuffed all the toxins for the for the wine.
And you often see the initiates of Dionysus carrying these and you often see them over the head of the initiate.
They didn't go anywhere without their there are their cells, ones, and this one, what was the top of it made out of like like bundled leaves? Hmm. It was a hollow stalk with bundled leaves in their ruck, believes that they would put their stash.
So their whole thing was just adding things to our all adding things to wine, added things to beer. It's in fact it was it was it would be abnormal not to add something to wine. So wine is routinely described in the ancient Greek as unusually intoxicating, seriously mind altering, occasionally hallucinogenic and potentially lethal. And for that reason, one of the words used to describe wine for like a thousand years from Homer to the fall of the Roman Empire was Farmakonisi, which is drug pharmacy.
That's the word they used ritually formulaically to describe wine because it was routinely spiked with toxins and herbs and plants.
Now, was this just when they were having these rituals? But when they were eating, they would just drink wine normally? Right.
There was everyday table wine like we have today. Right. But it was more you know, they wouldn't take two pills with a glass of water.
They would dissolve their medicine into wine. Wine is described by Pat McGovern. You, for example, as the universal palliative that that that's how you would self administer medicine. It's why Diyas Cortis, when I mentioned In The Matter America from the 1st Century ad, it's why he has all these recipes. A lot of them are just medicinal. You know, not not all of them resulted in these fantastic visions when he talked about your swollen genitals, it's because he was trying to offer a recipe for that.
And that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years into the Greek tradition. But the the interesting part of it is that if you go all the way back to Homer, 8th, 7th century B.C., you do find this other kind of wine being mixed wine for a ritualistic purpose, like Searcy, the famous, which the daughter of Hecate, who we found in Spain so seriously is routinely again mixing. Homer calls it Pharmaco Lubra evil drugs into the wine.
You could also mix heeling drugs into the wine.
But there were there was essentially a whole pharmacopeia available to them.
Oh, wow. Thank God you wrote this book, man. There's more, there's more, there's more, there's more, PJ.
OK, so when we're not just looking, OK, so for for a long, long time, it's been the literature. It's been, you know, vase and pottery and it's been statuary like the Bergonzi vase. I was the whole point I wrote this book is again to apply 21st century science to it. So in my conversations with Pat McGovern and an Endako at MIT, I started to find the initial clues for actual wine that was actually spiked. OK, not just not just in the abstract.
So, Jamie, if you open this up real quick to graveyard wine, which is how I refer to it. So if you look at graveyard wine, go to the number Escorpion wine right there. So I was looking for evidence of wine actually being spiked in antiquity, this comes from Egypt. This is at Abydos, 31, 50 B.C. It's so old. It's it's pre dynastic. This is Scorpion. The first they found 700 wine jars that were subjected to chemical analysis.
Pat McGovern did the testing and they found it to be spiked with savory wormwood blue, Tanzy Balm, Sena, coriander, gerrymander, mint, sage and thyme.
Whoa. And you can find that he published that in 2009, I believe ancient Egyptian herbal wines and wormwood is some type of psychedelic. I thought that, too. It's not. It's not. It is artemesia. Absinthe thing is is psychoactive. McGovern thinks this was Artemesia Sabeti, which is a slightly different species. But when you look at it from from afar, there's something more than just table wine there. These were intentionally spiking the wine for a reason.
And they're deposited as grave goods for a reason. And the reason would seem to be for ushering the the the preferrable into the afterlife. They were there with him to aid the journey. And we're not going to talk about the underworld journey in Egypt with Graham Hancock without asking Graham Hancock what he thinks about ancient Egyptian funerary practice.
Well, there's no doubt that the the ancient Egyptians were very focused on death, not in a negative way. They saw this life as our opportunity to prepare for the adventure and the challenge of death that we had. Whatever it is, we got 79 to 20, however many years we got. That was our opportunity to prepare for that great challenge of the journey that follows that follows death. And there's no doubt in my mind that the ancient Egyptians did make use of of psychedelic substances, the the blue waterlily from ancient Egypt being being an example because of that, again, diluted in wine were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
This is a psychedelic brew. And when you look at ancient Egyptian art, the the entities which are very often part animal, part human in form and which are teachers of mankind, you find yourself again in that same realm that people using psychedelics today find themselves in DMT, in particular, encountering entities that speak to us, that teach us, and that often take the form of part animal, part human, very anthropos.
It's so interesting to see the actual evidence of this use and when do Egyptologists dismiss this? Do they embrace this? Is this something that is not controversial?
I think Egyptologists will say that the ancient Egyptians, when you erotically focused on death, I would say I would say the opposite. I would say they had a very balanced approach to death. I mean, the one thing is clear it we're all going to die. There's nobody nobody doubts that it's sooner or later that moment in our life is going to come where life ends. And to me, that is an incredibly important moment. And the ancient Egyptians, by devoting their culture to figuring out how we live best in order to cross that bridge, to transit into that other realm where we're being very practical and very profound in their inquiries.
It wasn't that they were afraid of death. They wanted to ready themselves for the journey that follows death. And they made it and they made it very clear that everything we do in this life, everything counts. Nothing is separated away. There's nothing that we can deny. There's complete clarity in the afterlife realm. Nothing can be nothing can be hidden. We're confronted with absolute truth. And in a way, psychedelics are a preparation for that because psychedelics also confront us with absolute truth.
And that's why psychedelics can often be very uncomfortable, because we see the truth about ourselves. But we're being given an opportunity to change ourselves for the better and to be more nurturing and more positive and more useful people. And as a result, the ancient Egyptians would say to to to confront a better death.
What I was getting out was what is their reaction to the psychedelic spiked wine?
Because I know you, particularly Egypt Egyptologists, don't want anything to do with psychedelics. That's why they don't want anything to do with psychedelics. They would prefer not to not to go there. And just as there are many other aspects of ancient Egyptian culture that the Egyptologists don't want to go into, it often seems to me that they're in the process of trying to carve or shape ancient Egypt to fit into modern ideology. And that's a great pity.
Well, it's also a great pity that, I mean, particularly with your work and the work that you've done with Dr. Robert Schalk, describing some indications on some of the ancient structures that there was heavy erosion that was due to rainfall, thousands of years of rainfall, which would have predated the conventional idea of when these things are constructed the way that they resisted that instead of looking at it like this fascinating new evidence that will illuminate this field. And now we have some new perspective on this.
They rejected it so horrifically and there was so there were mocking. I remember that. Who is that? That one Egyptologist that openly mocked the concept of it. Not just one of many, many Egyptologists about there's a film in the one that there was the documented photo maybe. Yes, the Charlton Heston narrated the documentary.
Yes, I think you may be you may be speaking about Kanfer, but really I could I could say a dozen Egyptologists who feel this way. The notion that the great Sphinx is 12 and a half thousand years old, which is a notion based on the erosion patterns on the body of the Sphinx, is utterly unacceptable to Egyptologists. They just don't want to go there. They don't want to consider that possibility because they feel that they've got ancient Egyptian history taped, that it begins about 5000 years ago.
There's a bit of a precursor in the pre dynastic period, a thousand or so years building up to ancient Egypt. And then you have ancient Egyptian civilization. And gradually it merges with the Greeks and with other cultures and spreads out around the world. The notion that there is a background to ancient Egyptian civilization that goes back into the Ice Age is a notion that no Egyptologist is prepared to accept. The moment they start accepting that notion, they cease to be Egyptologists.
In the view of their colleagues, it's a very dangerous idea to to contemplate. And that that's why I spent the last quarter of a century trying to argue the case for a lost civilization that, you know, maybe I'm not right about everything, but we shouldn't neglect the hints and the clues, whether it comes from astronomy, whether it comes from geometry, whether it comes from geology, whether it comes from the statements of the ancient Egyptians themselves about their origins and their past, we shouldn't be ignoring this.
We should consider it. And you're right. Rather than rather than reacting with fury to the notion of a much more ancient sphinx, it would have been nice to have seen the theological profession react with interest to it and begin to explore it and consider what it might mean, because the geology is irrefutable but largely ignored.
The erosion, was it on the body of the Sphinx or was it on the walls of the temple with the Sphinx was carved out of?
Well, where you can see it today is so the Sphinx is carved out of solid bedrock. It's carved out of the bedrock of the Giza Plateau. And in order to do that, an enormous trench was created around the body of the Sphinx. And in fact, the the blocks that were excavated from that trench were then moved over and used to build what are called the Valley Temple and the Sphinx Temple, where in some cases you find blocks of limestone that weigh close to 200 tons.
And what has happened since then is that the body of the Sphinx has been subjected to multiple restorations. In fact, one of the arguments that Egyptologists just ignore is that already in the Old Kingdom at the time when the Sphinx is supposed to have been made, according to conventional Egyptology, already in the Old Kingdom, they were restoring it. And there are restoration blocks on the body of the Sphinx, the date back four and a half thousand years. And that process of restoring and renovating the Sphinx has gone on down the ages.
It's still happening today. The powers of the Sphinx, as we see them today, are covered entirely with modern restoration blocks. We don't see the bedrock underneath it, but where we do see the original bedrock is in the walls of that trench that was carved out to create the body of the Sphinx in the first place because nobody has been restoring those. And it's in those that you see this characteristic undulating pattern that speaks of exposure to a very long period of heavy, heavy rainfall.
And the last time you have that heavy rainfall in Egypt is the period that geologists called the Younger Dryas roughly between twelve thousand eight hundred and eleven thousand six hundred years ago. So the body of the Sphinx, the trench out of which it is carved, is saying, I am 12000 years old. And the only argument against that really is the head of the Sphinx being the typical head of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh with the NEMS headdress. But of course, the head of the Sphinx was originally a lion, just as the body of the Sphinx is a lion.
And the head of the Sphinx was carved in dynastic times to give it this human form.
The reaction to that notion and this hard geological data that Robert Schalk provided was just the most.
Right. Let's pay tribute to John Anthony West. Yes, because it was John Anthony West who originally had that brilliant insight that that what we're looking at on the in the case of the Sphinx is water weathering. And and he rightly pays tribute to Swallow Delu because an earlier scholar who was the first to notice this and John then brought Robert shop to Egypt as a professional geologist. Robert is professor of geology at the University of Boston and brought him there. And Robert Schrock indeed concluded that we are looking at water weathering on the body of the Sphinx.
And gradually, Robert. He was very cautious. He was saying, well, this things must be seven or eight thousand years old, but much more recently, he's also settled on the date of roughly 12000 years old as the last time that you would get that sort of heavy rainfall in Egypt. It could have created that characteristic weathering.
And I would encourage anybody who's interested in this to please check out John Anthony West Magical Egypt series, because it's amazing. It's it's yeah, I've probably seen it 15 times.
It's I'm so glad that you had that you had John on your show, Joe, because you did also very I know it's very rare that you do things by Skype and you did in person as well.
I had about twice. Yeah. I got him on in person and before he died and I had him on Skype before that.
What an amazing man he was. He was such such a radical, such an incendiary, you know, just planting, planting intellectual bombs in in the accepted wisdom of the modern world and making us all think again. So I think when it comes to the age of the Sphinx, it's really important to realize the role that John Anthony West played. And I'm so glad that you had him on your show.
Yeah, I am as well. And he was a dear, dear friend of mine. And I was I was I was with him just a month before his before his death. And he went in to that journey of death with enormous courage and absolute certainty.
Now, when these vessels were tested and these psychedelic compounds were detected, what was the reaction? Was was there resistance to this? How was it received?
We don't think they were properly psychedelic just yet. I mean, all the ingredients that that psychoactive, psychoactive, medicinal for for for sure it gets there wasn't much backlashed that I know of after after McGovern study. It was a gold standard study. And then it continued, by the way. So after those 700 jars at Abydos, after further analysis, they they determined that the plants and herbs actually originated in the Holy Land and the southern Lebanon. They weren't native to Egypt.
They had been brought there or they were shipped there by the folks in the Holy Land, which gets more interesting because the next big find was the world's oldest wine cellar, which is published in 2014, came from Tel Kabaddi, which is also in Galilee. Remember, this is going to be the same Galilee that Jesus comes on the scene and Christianity bursts across the planet. So at Telecommuted in 2014, they found another stash of wine dubbed the world's oldest wine cellar, also subjected to Archil chemical analysis.
And what Andrew Cohen, the team there found was wine spiked with Honey Stork's Tarabin, Cyperus, Cedar, Juniper, Mint, Myrtle and cinnamon, or at least Sinem Aldehyde. Hmmm, another very strange mixture.
Doesn't sound very psychedelic though. No, no, not at all. So they just, they just were into sparkling wine.
They just, they love sparkling wine. But what Andrew says about it is interesting though. And that's, that's why I reached out to him originally because he says that spiking wine with this many ingredients is indicative of a very sophisticated understanding of the botanical landscape. And he says he says, quote, It demonstrates the pharmacopoeia skills necessary to balance preservation palatability and psycho activity. He uses that word preservation like in the turbine, for example, you know, resonating the wine so it doesn't spoil to to vinegar and then palatability.
If there is cinnamon or honey that you mentioned before, too, it would improve the flavor profile, but then psycho activity, who knows? We don't know which juniper it was, but there is Juniper used in other psychoactive ceremonies. There's a species of juniper juniper this Cordova, which occurs in near the Himalayas, actually. And there's I've seen videos, really cool videos. If you want to pull it up, Jamie, you can look up. If you Google, anybody can do this Gbps shaman.
If you look up Gbps space shaman, you'll see a ritual of someone inhaling the the juniper, the incense from juniper and going into a trance.
Whoa. Well, how much is written about wine and the additives and all the different things they put to one? Let's watch this first. There's there's not much written about it, you might have to to to skip forward, but this is them essentially preparing. What are we looking at? So that's a that's a that's a bit what they call the betio. The Betio are their traditional healer prophets and shamans.
Of this tribe in the Hindu Kush, and what they do is they inhale the incense from burning juniper and then suck the blood from a goat head.
Wow. Jesus Christ. And it says things people get up to. That's what happens when you outlaw psychedelics. People try anything. It's even mushrooms. Yeah. So I could go ahead.
And so this is the Hunza people, and it says it puts him into a trance whereby he's able to communicate with the fairies.
The. Look at that guy skeptical. I'm no, no, she's always been annoying. Look at him. It's like he just wants to put on a robe and dance and he kind of looks like a guy who would do that, too. And there's there's that little girl. Headless goat. Oh, boy.
A boy. And what is there, do they explain, oh, here he goes, he's sucking on, go ahead. OK. This guy is annoying. Look at him, look at his dancing and he's putting on a show. Everybody's like, look at him. And he's like, look at me like I know that I'm so crazy about the hair. Doesn't really do anything. I bet the gonad is just so he gets extra attention like the kids like, wow, this guy's crazy.
Yeah. A little bit of Borat in there, too. Wow.
OK, now is it usually more than one person?
This is what's odd is that this one guy is tripping balls and then he collapses and then everybody else is just going, oh, it's Marty. We'll get Marty. Marty going crazy. Rinse his hands off. Hmm. And is this something that other people. This is what's weird about this video. It seems like one person is having a psychedelic ritual and the rest of them are just watching this guy.
He was the spiritual technician the way you find in other traditional societies.
He was the one who trained to navigate that that other world and learn the fairy language, apparently. Very language, the very language.
Hmm. Yeah. It is weird that those fairies and elves and all these different things exist in so many different cultures. And they are what you do see if you do take enough psychedelics or the right kind and the right setting. Is that true? My mentioned is true. My my take on this when when I wrote Supernatural is that, you know, we have three supposedly different domains of experience. We have the spirits who shamans encounter in altered states of consciousness.
We have fairies and elves from the Middle Ages very often. And illustrations you'll see that the mushroom mushrooms are present in the illustrations. And then today we have aliens. And at the level of phenomena, the there are extremely close similarities between the entities that we call aliens today, the entities that were called fairies or elves in the Middle Ages and the entities that shamans refer to as spirits. And I would say actually what we're dealing with is the same experience in all three cases, but viewed through different cultural lenses and construed in different ways.
And the only thing that really explains these kind of experiences where any one of us can actually share that experience and have that experience is psychedelics. Powerful psychedelics like DMT will plunge us into that realm of experience. And we will meet entities and many people did. They do construe those entities as aliens because that's how our culture is dealing with the other today.
Have you ever experienced anything that looked like the classic iconic alien is? Yeah, I have. You have really?
Absolutely. And one of my and one of my early ayahuasca experiences in the in the Amazon, I saw flying. My eyes were closed, but I saw flying saucers and then I saw this classic sort of quote unquote, grey with that high domed forehead and narrow pointed chin and these really grim eyes looking looking down on me. And I think I may have this on your show before, but what I what I really regret doing, I felt I was going to be taken.
I felt I was going to be abducted. And I opened my eyes and I shouted, no, of course.
Of course, I should have kept my eyes closed and said, yes, take me. But I didn't do that. And I've never encountered them in that quite alien form again.
That's a bummer. Yes, it is a bummer. But we have to we have to consider the possibility that these are not simply concoctions of our brains, that that the brain is a much more complicated mechanism than we think it is, and that in certain circumstances, when brain chemistry is altered in the right way, we gain access to other levels of reality that are normally closed off to our senses. That is personally my view that what's happening with psychedelics, I can't prove that that's the case.
But the sense that we are entering a seamlessly convincing parallel world, that it is inhabited by intelligent beings and that they have things to say to us. First of all, this is universal. People have worked with psychedelics all around the world, have had those experiences. And secondly, I just don't see this I don't see why we've all got a brain module for this. I think we are actually peering through the doorway into another level of reality, but it's going to take a whole lot more research to prove that.
That's just my own personal opinion.
My personal opinion mirrors yours. My feelings have always been when I do psychedelics, that I've tuned in to a frequency that's unavailable to me during regular states of consciousness. It doesn't seem like a hallucination. It seems like I entered into a doorway and I'm in a new place and there's an urgency to it because I know that I'm not going to be able to stay here for very long. And they seem to know that. And they seem to be they seem to communicate with you in a very urgent way.
And I'm one of the things that I've talked about. I've talked about this experience before.
One of the most profound ones I met Jester's who are giving me who are giving me the finger.
And they seem they seem to be explaining to me that I take myself too seriously.
Yeah, it felt like and then when I went, Oh, OK. Yeah, yeah. You got it. You got it. I was like, oh yeah. You're right.
I wasn't feeling like. Yeah, yeah, OK, you think of yourself too highly. I had my that's why the subtitle of my my book, Supernatural, back in 2006 was meetings with the ancient teachers of mankind. And I think that's what's going on here. I think that the psychedelics allow us to enter a realm where we encounter teachers who can help us to be better people and perhaps to be a better civilization.
Well, that was one of the more interesting things about I believe it was University of Jerusalem there. Their take on what Moses and the burning Bush was that very likely the burning bush was the acacia tree, which is very rich in dimethyltryptamine VMT. Yeah. And that this was what I mean it when you see it that way, like, oh of course, Moses the burning bush was God talking to him. And you think about the translation between ancient Hebrew and then to Latin and the Greek and all these and then the English eventually like of course is going to be a lot lost in the translation.
But if you just looked at it that way, you'd be like, oh, so that's a psychedelic drug. Oh, you've done that. Oh, you do. You kind of do meet something that seems like you would describe as God. And it's very moral. Yeah.
You meet, you meet in what other state of consciousness do you meet, intelligent plants that communicate with you. Right. You know that it's very hard to imagine any other state of consciousness apart from the psychedelic state. And what you're citing is the work of Benny Shannon, who is a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and he has drunk ayahuasca himself at least 700 times.
I mean, he's got a suspect, I don't know which very are, but but he's a really he's really exactly any any scholar who goes into this area and really does it properly faces skepticism and being shoved off to the side by by his or her colleagues. It takes courage to do this work. But what we need is more scientists doing this work, girding up their courage and getting on with it, because we need to learn about this aspect of ourselves.
We've just got such an incomplete picture at the moment, but it all falls into place if you look at it under that description. And I'm glad he has the courage to step up and actually put this description out there. I remember someone sent it to me in an email and I was like, aha, there it is, of course.
And it Benny Benny Shannon's book is called Ayahuasca The Antipathies of the Mind. It's really important, really important piece of work, but not widely enough read, in my view.
Is there a cultural version of Ayahuasca where there is an Mayeux inhibitor and a plant with dimethyltryptamine outside of the Amazon?
Is there an equivalent? Well, sure.
That was that was also part of Beny Shannons argument in the in ancient Israel that that you have you have mimosa certain mimosas, which which contain the the DMV and then you have Hamlyn in in other plants that contain the monoamine oxidase inhibitor. So so you can have these what are called ayahuasca analogs, which are which are doing essentially the same, the same thing. I've I've consumed ayahuasca analogs myself and they are very like ayahuasca, but not quite. There is a there is there is a difference.
Again, I'm going to sound very mystical and kind of woo woo here. But there is a spirit in ayahuasca. It's a female spirit is a goddess. And I've not encountered her with the analogs, only with ayahuasca from the Amazon.
And what have the analogs been like? The experience is still psychedelic. Yes, very much so.
The visions, the encounters, the encounters with entities, the amazing geometric patterns and the self reflection. What the fuck have I been doing with my life up till now? But why did I make that mistake? Why did I hurt that person in that way? But that that feeling of a direct, intimate encounter with her? I call her a goddess. I mean, sometimes she appears in and I can hear my critics out there laughing at me. Now, Hancock has completely lost it, but sometimes she appears appears in the form of a human woman, sometimes in the form of a of a serpent.
And then, you know, we get into the whole issue of the Garden of Eden and the story of the Garden of Eden and the role that the serpent plays in that story and the role that the serpent plays in that story is pointing out to Adam and Eve that God has basically lied to them. And he offers them he offers Adam and Eve the forbidden fruit. Alex Gray, my friend, the visionary artist Alex Gray, calls it the first psychedelic slapdown.
That's what the Garden of Eden is. So you know that there are these intriguing experiences that are unleashed with these with these substances. But to my mind, there is something very special about ayahuasca. It's a. Being ancient technology, you can trace it back thousands of years in the Amazon and it's now coming out of the Amazon and finding its way around the world, and that ancient fresco that shows Adam and Eve standing by mushroom's is very bizarre as well, right?
Again, this psychedelic heritage has been hidden from us. And that is why I value Brian's book, The Immortality Keys, so much, because it's done the solid scientific groundwork to begin to give academic scientists permission to investigate this field. And that's what we need. We need much more work done in this field than has been done already.
Oh, man. How good does it feel to have put this down to paper and just sell it? Or do you feel like now that it's out there, you have a lot of explaining to do?
I think there's lots of explaining to do. Yeah. It's funny, though, when and we haven't gotten into the too much of the Christian material yet, but I went through the Vatican quite a bit when I when I was writing this with different departments at the Vatican, the Vatican Secret Archives and the archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican museums and all the catacombs in Rome. And I went through their spelunking with Father Francis.
And to be totally honest, the Vatican couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating to me. And while some of this is controversial, they've been very supportive to date. And I say that as someone who went to 13 years of Catholic school, including four years with the Jesuits, they always encouraged me to ask questions about the origins of the faith. And there's lots and lots of questions there. There's a reason that today you can look around and find 33000 denominations of Christianity.
I think that was the case from the very beginning. There was never one monolithic form of the faith. And people didn't go to bed in 33 A.D. as pagans and wake up in 34 A.D. as Christians. It was a process and intercultural process that took hundreds of years, which I call paleo Christianity, which I think for anyone interested in the faith is kind of the most interesting part. These are the earliest and most authentic Christians, but they were living in a world where the blood of goats and all this spiked wine was the norm.
And as a matter of fact, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote about this of all people. Really? Yeah.
This is called the pagan continuity hypothesis, the idea that Christianity wasn't born in a vacuum. In 1950, Dr. King wrote a paper called The Influence of the Mystery Religions on Christianity.
You can Google it, you can Google it, and you can Google it and you can read it.
Wow. This was this this was not controversial woo woo stuff.
At least in 1950 when I went to the Vatican, I was really fortunate. We hired a professional guy who was a professor there. There it is, the influence of the mystery religions and Christianity. Dr. Martin Luther King. Wow. It's impressive. It's amazing. We got really fortunate. We have this amazing guide. And we were in the middle of this one area of the Vatican and there was a giant pine cone. Oh, yeah. And the Lapine.
And so he brought it up like, what do you think that stands for? And I said probably the pineal gland and his eyes lit up, but we had this conversation and then we started talking about drugs, you know, too much Joe Rogan.
And so he just loved the fact that I knew that and that I was into this. And then we had a fantastic time.
But there's a lot of mushroom imagery and iconic mushroom shapes and and this connection between mushrooms and Christianity, you can find it there. There's a lot of one of the weirder ones. When Jack Herer was alive, he was working on jackaroos, a guy who was a Goldwater Republican. It became a cannabis advocate when he he got divorced and met a girlfriend. And, you know, he thought pot was for losers, but he just wanted to get high with this cute girl and smoked a little pot is like where this been all my life.
And then he became a cannabis advocate and I was very fortunate to meet him before he died. And he was showing me some stuff that he was working on. But one of the things that he was working on after, you know, he wrote that book, The Emperor Has No Clothes, but then he was writing a book about mushrooms and Christianity. And there was these ancient images of these naked people dancing in ecstasy, and they were surrounded by this translucent mushroom image.
It was really fascinating.
And there was a lot of these images and images that were the shape of doors that were carved out in the form of a mushroom.
And that this it only makes sense if you know what psychedelic mushrooms do when you take them. You have these incredible experiences. And the idea that a religion would emerge out of these experiences is not unusual at all.
No, especially if it was common in. In ancient Greece, and that's that's why I try to focus on that, that continuity from the ancient Greeks to the Christians, because, again, these are the same people, the earliest Christians were all Greek speaking when when Paul is writing his letters, which is the majority of the New Testament, the 21 of the 27 books of the New Testament, he's writing in Greek to Greek people. He's writing to the Corinthians who speak Greek, the Thessalonians and Thessaloniki, now the second largest city in Greek in Greece, the Philippians, and then in modern day Turkey to the Ephesians and Colossians in Galatians.
You know, Christianity is born in Galilee or at least grows up in Galilee, but it doesn't take root. There it goes. It goes to the Greek speakers and it goes across all the Greek influenced areas, including magni Greek. Yeah, which is great. Greece, which is southern Italy, which happens to be the same place where the Catholic Church put down its roots 2000 years ago. The reason for that was because the early church was all Greek and these were people who were steeped in the traditions of their ancestors.
I mean, imagine abandoning the religion of your grandparents for this new wine God from one day to the next. It doesn't doesn't make that much sense. And so the thesis of the book is that the Eucharist for some communities at some point in time at some area in this Greek speaking part of the world, would have avail themselves of the kind of sacraments that were available to the Greeks for generations and generations. And so we're still looking for the smoking gun of that ancient Greek spiked wine.
It's not there. We talked about the Abydos wine in Egypt, the the the herbal wine from Tel Carbury in Galilee. So we've been looking in Greece and Turkey and Italy and elsewhere for that, you know, Greek spiked wine and haven't quite found it yet. But Andrew was is very interested in continuing to test and find more things. But in the meantime, we did find spiked wine. So you have evidence of spiked wine now? It's just fine in Greece.
And I think we want you want to find it in Greece to try to deny ISIS. You want to find it in Italy to tie it to the Christians, because that's really the area where where the church, again, puts down roots and begins to grow up in that period of paleo Christianity. And so just like I was looking for that Ergotism beer, I was looking for evidence of where you could properly call it psychedelic wine may have popped up.
And there is one article and one Archil Botany Journal from 20 years ago that talks about spiked wine, which was new, which was news to me, too, because every single time I go to the McGoverns and Andrew COAS and all the top Arkia botanists in Europe, the answer you get back just like the answer to the question, where is the spiked beer? The answer is there isn't any more. And it's another case of this evidence just either being ignored or underreported.
But there was a young at the time, a botanist, Marina Schiraldi, who was from Naples and got her Ph.D. in archaeology in the U.K. and she's on site in Pompei testing these vessels.
We have a lot of evidence from Pompeii, by the way. In fact, a lot of what we know about the ancient world comes from Pompeii and Herculaneum because of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. It explodes and destroys everything, but it also preserves everything under like 17 feet of volcanic ash.
We have all these clues about the Dionysian mysteries. And in addition to that, there was this farmhouse in Scarfiotti just to the east of Pompeii, where there were seven Dolia, which is like a giant storage vessel. And these Dolia are found in a Tel Aviv Natya like a wine cellar in a farm that also came complete with a circular radium, like a winepress and a threshing floor. So something about wine was happening in this place. We don't know what.
The sample was extraordinarily well-preserved when Marina went in there. It wasn't a chemical analysis. That's obviously more, more, more fine, more finely great. It the the sample was in such good shape because it had been waterlogged. So the the botanical samples were in pristine condition and she could tell by the seeds and stems and other plant material what was there. And there were over 50 species of plants and herbs and trees in this in this one sample, which is really weird, even more than we found at Arbidol Sawtell Kabaddi.
It was, you know, like a just a challenge of plant material that shouldn't be there. And what she found, in addition to many other medicinal plants was opium, cannabis henbane and black nightshade. What is henbane? Henbane is the is he he was skewness. It's whio schemin is one of those chopan alkaloids than that nightshade plant, that very which he kind of plant that we found in the canals in Spain that it was beer potentially spiked with henbane.
So we're finding wine spiked potentially with henbane we find for seeds at least there were two seeds of opium, nine seeds of cannabis for seeds of henbane and then two seeds of this black nightshade. And in the article that that describes that she Murena herself, the Archil botanist, says this is some kind of spiced wine. In fact, she calls it a Mithridates tune now to understand that there was this guy, Mithridates, Mithridates, the sixth was the ruler of the Pontoise region and between the Black and Caspian Seas, his father was poisoned to death.
And so to prevent that, he would microdots his whole life. He was poisoning himself day in and day out. And so this potion of many different toxic herbs and plants becomes known eventually. And the Roman Empire as a Mithridates him after Mithridates. Now, when the Romans finally get to him and try and kill him, he tries to poison himself. And it doesn't work because he's immune. So one of his soldiers has to stab him to death.
So he's micro dosing himself in preparation for someone else poisoning. Exactly. But then when he tries to commit suicide, he's unable to. Exactly.
Oh, my God. How strange.
And so outside of Pompei, was there any other evidence and how would you go about finding it? Like, we're like, say, if you want to continue the search, where where would you look?
That's I mean, it opens up a whole world of possibilities now that people I mean, I wrote this as kind of I call them the initial archil botanical blips on the radar. So between this archetype beer and this potentially psychedelic wine, there's lots of different places to look. If you're trying to to prove the psychedelic hypothesis within paleo Christianity, you're looking for a place where the Dionysian mysteries bumped up against the Christian mysteries and that's all over the place. So back in Galilee, for example, dynamicists, there's a there's a whole myth around Dionysus and his birth and different authors place his birth in different places.
One of the places they place his birth is a city called Skillfull Police Ski. Theopolis was like the capital of the decade of police, this 10 city, part of the eastern Mediterranean, from Nazareth to ski Theopolis today is 40 minutes door to door Nazareth, where Jesus grows up.
So she topolice has this northern cemetery where you do find artifacts that relate both to the pagan Dionysian mysteries and some Christian artifacts. So a place like that would be ripe for further investigation or an emphasis you have like the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers, another place where the pagan mysteries bumped up against the Christian mysteries. One of the best places is Rome and the Cat and the catacombs, which is why I spent so much time going through the catacombs looking for evidence of these essentially funerary rituals where people were celebrating with the dead, using the sacramental wine in the very earliest versions of the mass.
And is there any scripture, any any texts that are describing what they were doing when they were going through these rituals, these funeral rituals?
I mean, there's a few things we have. So the funeral for the Christians, it's called the refugee, Meriem the refuge.
Karriem, in Latin means like a chill out. And there's that. There's a very respectable scholar, Ramzi Macmullan. He's considered one of the premiere authorities of the ancient Roman world. He describes the refuge area as a place where the dead themselves participate, and it's where the dead basically come back to life in the Roman world. You would you would never leave the dead alone. Think of think of it like like a funerary ritual. In Mexico, for example, when the family goes to visit the graves of the ancestors, there was a very similar principle in the ancient Roman world that carried over into Christianity.
And so we know the refrigeration existed. The big question is if the wine drunk at the time was similar to the wine of the early Christian Eucharist. And when you look through these catacombs, you find really crazy stuff to suggest that, in fact, the two could the two could coexist. Well, here we go, these images. Now, the book's out. The book's done, your thing now is obviously promoting this and getting the word out.
But do you have in your mind of following up on this research now that the door is opened and now that people are aware of this, it seems like you're first of all, I believe you're going to get help. People are going to be interested in continuing this research and and contributing to this research. Where do you go from here? I want to dedicate my life to this for the next 10 years. Really? Yes. Wow. So PJ Field.
But I think my Fijis, you know, I think well, I guess we need to take you down to the Amazon, Brian, and you need to have an encounter with mother ayahuasca or you can just go to Santa Cruz.
Or you could just really give this summit about that rainforest, though. Yeah, I'm sure it really is. It really is a special setting for this for this experience. But I think it would be interesting, Brian, having having written this as a as a scientific and an academic and a research exercise to to then go on to see what your personal experience is and how that resonates with what you've learnt as a as a as a scientific investigator.
Yeah. I mean, even if you wanted to do it in a clinical setting like Rick Strassman did when he had these FDA approved studies for DMT, the spirit molecule, which is anything is anything where you could tap into that world, because I guarantee you're going to come back eyes wide like those ladies in that drawing.
And I'd be like, oh, OK.
It's fascinating to me when you talk to someone who is a psychedelic virgin because you almost feel jealous, like I almost like, you know. Do you feel the same way, Graham?
Yeah, absolutely. It would be it would be nice to it would be nice to know that that experience lay ahead of us. Yeah, we haven't and we haven't had it yet. But but, you know, at the same time, you can learn to work with these substances. They can be overwhelming at first. And with with more careful use of these substances, you begin to manage them better. Not always, but usually.
So when you say you want to do this and dedicate your life for the next 10 years, are you do you have multiple books in mind? Do you have what is your thought?
So with this I mean, my my dream is to is to see this on the screen. I think there's there's so many visual elements here. I think that. What's up, Jamie got well.
Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry.
So the I think the the best way that I mean, my dream is to see this on the screen. So I've been talking to a couple of development teams, a couple of production companies. One is anonymous content in L.A. and Six West Media in New York. Together, we're developing a documentary series that adapts this everything we've talked about for like a first season. But there's really multiple seasons here because there's so much evidence that's never been looked at. And so it's taking the very best of the geochemistry and the very best of the on and the field archaeology, combining all the linguistic evidence and the symbology and iconography and putting it together to find once and for all the smoking gun, for the use of a psychedelic Eucharist in antiquity.
So are you do you have a place where you're bringing this or we are just about to pitch this, as a matter of fact.
Oh, Netflix. Where you, um. Yeah, listen, I would watch that all day long, I'm really excited. I'm really excited about the whole thing, the whole prospect of it.
And I think that it's I'm just so happy that you became obsessed with it and they ignored all the people telling you to.
Not me to man. I mean, it's it's it's been it's been a long road. I never, never thought about psychedelics until I read Supernatural. A lot of weird stuff was happening in my life in 2007 and 2008 after I read those initial studies that came out of Hopkins and NYU. Of course, I wanted to try psilocybin and then the mystery just got deeper and deeper. And I realized there was there was a story to be told here that hadn't been told before.
And I think it needed a serious and sober look at this stuff. So I really did spend nights and weekends doing nothing else but this kind of stuff and reading hundreds of books and thousands of journal articles and 12 years of Googling to try and put all these pieces together. And I will say that, you know, it covers a lot of ground, but you don't need to know anything about history or archaeology, let alone archil botany or Archil chemistry or psychopharmacology or biblical studies or paleoanthropology to appreciate this, because I kind of take it one step at a time from the very beginning and show you every piece of evidence that, I mean, as a virgin did convince me that this is at least worth a sober look from the scientific community.
Well, I hope two things. Next time I talked to you were promoting this television show. And you can tell me about your psychedelic experience that you had with Graham that I agree to this or.
Yes, you agree to it. You agreed.
You signed up. You signed up. And Graham, the hope, hopefully next time we communicate will actually be in the flesh when somebody works out this covid nonsense. I hope so.
Can I can I just mention will not talk about my book, but this is the hard back of America before which we which we talked about the last time I was on your show and America before has been in hardback for the past 18 months.
But it's coming out in paperback twenty, twenty ninth of September 2020 at a at a much reduced price. And I hope that people who have not been able to access the hardback will be able to have a look at it in the in the paperback. I mean, we had we had an amazing conversation the last time I was on your show. And before that, we had the drama with Michael Shermer.
Yes. And Randall Carson was present. And that guy, Mark Defiant, came in by telephone. And I want to pay tribute to Michael Shermer. You may have noticed this, Joe, that that Michael put out a tweet saying that he was going to have to reconsider his essentially, I'm paraphrasing, he was going to have to reconsider his prior attitude to my work in the light of new evidence about the Younger Dryas impact catastrophe that in my view, twelve thousand years ago or so lost us a whole civilization.
It takes a lot to admit that that one may have been wrong. And I'm glad that Michael had the had the courage to put that tweet out there.
Yeah, I am as well. Kudos to him and kudos to you and to Randall Carlson as well, because those two conversations that we had about that are absolutely some of my favorite conversations of all time. Those were it's it's obvious something happened and all the pieces much like this in this conversation about spiked wine and drugs. And it all makes sense.
It all fits into place and that we are a species with amnesia and that we need to we need to rediscover our past. And there's a curious resonance with the way that things are in the in the modern world. Just as I have come to mistrust history, to mistrust the history that is taught to us in schools and universities, no longer to accept at face value the opinions of so-called experts in the field. So in the modern world today, many people are learning to mistrust institutions that have long gone unquestioned, whether it's government or whether it's science.
People are beginning to think for themselves. And I think there's an intriguing resonance between recovering our lost past and regaining sovereignty over ourselves in a modern world that is struggling very hard to turn us all into children and restore all responsibility in government. The huge mistake governments are there to serve us. They are not there to rule us. They are not there to tell us what to do. And I'm glad that people are waking up to this here.
Here. That's an excellent way to end this. Thank you, Graham. I love you. I appreciate you very much. I wish you here now give you a big hug. And thank you, Brian. Give me a hug back. Thanks. Thank you. All right. Thank you, guys. And thank you. Everybody listening. Thank you. Thank you, friends, for tuning in to the show. And thank you. To simply say simply safe and their awesome home.
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All right. We did it. Thank you. How interesting was that shit. Right. I told you that was a fascinating conversation.
I am so into this. I love it. I love the fact that he was obsessed and I love the fact that his wife, PJ, did not want him doing it and he kept doing it. And look look there he was right haha. So thank you to Brian and thank you to Graham. It was amazing conversation and thank you to all you much. Love to everybody. Bye bye.